Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Federal Agents Call Portland Bomb Plot Suspect "Confused" and "Ridiculous"

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Mohamed Osman Mohamuda, a 19-year-old naturalized American from Somalia, was arrested Friday by federal agents. He was charged with plotting to detonate a bomb during a Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland.

The imam at the Islamic center Mohamuda had attended in college told reporters that the boy appeared to be in a state of constant confusion. “He would say things that weren’t true. He told people that he was getting married, but he wasn’t. He told people that his real name was Wally. He told people that he was a gifted basketball player and lover. But all who knew Mohamuda saw through these lies.”

Federal agents agreed with the imam’s assessment. “Confused is an understatement,” said Barris McLean of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “I’d say ‘ridiculous’ is a better word for it. The device he attempted to explode was a fake bomb that the FBI supplied as part of a sting operation. The fact that he couldn’t tell our bomb from a real weapon is astounding.”

McLean allowed reporters to inspect the faux bomb at the press conference. The device appeared to be a large bundle of red cylinders strapped to an alarm clock. The letters TNT were painted on each stick in black stencil.

“Back at the office, we were all betting on whether he’d try to stuff that thing inside his underpants and carry through a TSA scanner,” McLean laughed. “They might actually have detected that.”