Alleged Christmas Tree Bomber Mohamed Osman Mohamud Heads to Court

A man accused of attempting to set off a car bomb heads to court in Oregon.

ByABC News
November 29, 2010, 3:11 AM

Nov. 29, 2010— -- A 19-year-old Somali American accused of attempting to set off a car bomb at an Oregon Christmas tree lighting is expected to appear in federal court today, authorities said.

According to undercover FBI agents, Mohamed Osman Mohamud was the target of a six-month FBI sting in which he allegedly believed he was detonating a bomb inside a parked van near Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square Friday night.

However, the bomb wasn't real and his alleged associates were actually FBI agents.

They arrested Mohamud after he dialed a cell phone number he believed would trigger the blast.

"The FBI took great caution to insure that the arrest was planned in a way to insure public safety," said U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton.

According to the FBI, Mohamud was "anxious to go operational and learn about explosives" and "allegedly considered a Mumbai style shooting rampage."

When told Mohamed might see body parts and blood, FBI agents allegedly recorded Mohamud saying, "I want to see that, that's what I want for these people…I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured."

If convicted, Mohamud faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Stephen Sady, Oregon's chief deputy federal public defender, has been working on the case this weekend, the Oregonian newspaper reported Sunday night.