War on Terror

FBI's Role in Terror Defendant's Actions Raised at Trial

Did he really want to set off car bomb in 2010 or did agents push him into it?

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There's no dispute that a 19-year-old Muslim college student tried to set off a car bomb at Portland's 2010 Christmas tree lighting ceremony, but how he reached that point is the crux of his trial that began in federal court this week.

A jury of seven men and nine women will decide whether this was a case of the U.S. government preventing the radicalization of a young Somali-American man, or was instead the FBI's coercion of an impressionable, hotheaded braggart into a plan he was otherwise incapable of carrying out.

Mohamed Mohamud's attorneys began to build their case during opening statements Friday, arguing that he was the victim of a sophisticated manipulation by undercover FBI agents.