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Mohamud guilty in Christmas tree-lighting bomb plot

Former Beaverton resident Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 21, will be sentenced in mid-May after a federal jury found him guilty Thursday afternoon of attempting to set off a bomb to kill and maim people attending the November 2010 Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

U.S. District Judge Garr King will sentence Mohamud on May 14 in Portland’s federal court. He faces a maximum of life in prison.

The verdict was presented at 3 p.m. Thursday after a two-week trial in which federal prosecutors claimed that Mohamud, a naturalized citizen from Somalia, was determined to kill people as part of a global jihadist movement. Evidence presented in the case showed that the young man who lived part of the time in Corvallis contacted who he thought was a terrorist leader to guide him through the process of obtaining explosives and packing them in a van to be detonated at the Nov. 26, 2010, downtown ceremony.

The terrorist leader was an FBI agent, and Mohamud’s defense team claimed the young man was entrapped by a federal sting.

“This trial provided a rare glimpse into the techniques Al Qaeda employs to radicalize home-grown extremists,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “With the verdict today, the jury has held this defendant accountable. I thank the dedicated professionals in the law enforcement and intelligence communities who were responsible for this successful outcome. I look forward to our continued work with Muslim Communities in Oregon who are committed to ensuring that all young people are safe from extremists who seek to radicalize others to engage in violence.”

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