PORTLAND, Ore. — In a slow, dispassionate monotone, an FBI agent on Thursday read selections from an Oregon terrorism suspect’s contributions to a jihadi magazine as prosecutors attempted to establish Mohamed Mohamud’s mindset in the year before his arrest.
Mohamud’s federal terrorism trial is in its third week, and prosecutors have tried to show Mohamud was predisposed to committing terrorism before a monthslong sting operation culminated with his November 2010 arrest.
As a teenager in 2009, Mohamud contributed to the online, English-language jihadi magazine “Jihad Recollections.”
His contributions to the publication varied in focus and appeared alongside articles written by Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida higher-ups.
Establishing Mohamud’s state of mind before the FBI targeted him in a terrorism sting operation is key to the prosecution’s assertion that it did not entrap a then-teenager, as his defense claims.
Mohamud’s pseudonymous contributions to “Jihad Recollections” were made public soon after his indictment on charges that he attempted to detonate a bomb at Portland’s 2010 Christmas-tree lighting ceremony. The bomb was a fake supplied by undercover FBI agents.
Jurors heard at least one straight hour of content from the magazine, read by Dwyer. The articles, written by a variety of authors other than Mohamud, were aimed at radicalizing Muslims in the U.S. and included advice on bringing recent Muslim converts into a war against the West.
The issue was a significant one at the time Mohamud was writing — more than a dozen Somali teenagers left Minneapolis in 2009, apparently en route to join a global jihad. The magazine also tracked with terror cases in the U.S., praising both the massacre at Fort Hood, outside Killeen, Texas, and an attempted bombing in Times Square.