An Oregon man was arrested last night and charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction after trying to detonate a car bomb at a tree-lighting ceremony. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a US citizen born in Somalia, drove a van to Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland and attempted to detonate a dummy explosive charge that had been rigged by the FBI, reports the Oregonian. "This defendant's chilling determination is a stark reminder that there are people—even here in Oregon—who are determined to kill Americans," said a state US attorney.
Mohamud had been under investigation since August of 2009, when he contacted a suspected terrorist in Pakistan and discussed traveling there to assist in terrorist activities. An undercover FBI agent contacted Mohamud and arranged to meet. After much discussion and a "trial run" detonating a backpack explosive, Mohamud recorded a video explaining his reason for the attack. His maximum sentence if convicted is a $250,000 fine and life in prison. Click here for more.