Portland terror plot an FBI set-up?

November 30, 2010 4:45:02 PM PST
By now, we've all heard of the arrest of 19-year-old Somali-American Mohamed O. Mohamud for his involvement in a plot to blow up an explosive-filled van during a Portland Christmas tree lighting ceremony over the weekend.

Now, some local residents are disturbed by the details emerging from the FBI. Once the FBI identified Mohamud as a person of interest, they assisted him in planning what was in effect, a fake terrorist act.

Posing as fellow terrorists, the FBI helped him locate an apartment in the Portland area, gave him $3,000 to rent it, then told him what components to purchase and how to assemble those components in order to make a bomb that could be detonated by a cell phone.

The bomb the FBI helped assemble was of course a fake. When Mohamud tried to set off the explosion, he was arrested.

Some are saying this young man never would have had the means or the ability to construct a bomb if not for the FBI's guidance and financing, and there never would have been a terrorist plot without the agency's involvement.

The FBI says Mohamud was told several times that the tree lighting ceremony, which Mohamud himself picked, would result in the deaths of children. They say he was given several opportunities to back out.

His alleged response was that he wanted everyone at the event either dead or injured.

Question of the Day: Was the FBI too proactive in the Portland bomb plot case? Would you call it a set-up?