The FBI affidavit in the case of Mohamed Mohamud is full of interesting details about allegedly planning the attack on Pioneer Square. This is the document the FBI had to present to a judge to get the sign-off on arresting Mohamud, so it basically tells the whole story of the investigation. I recommend you download it here and read the whole thing yourself, but here are some details that Denis didn't already cover with his story this morning.
The FBI informants and Mohamud were mostly in communication via email, according to the FBI. Mohamud's email was firstname.lastname@example.org, here's a sample of an email the informant wrote to Mohamud:
Mohamud planned to travel to Alaska this past June, but was detained at the airport by the FBI and turned back. In an email to the informant, he described the experience:
Mohamud also emailed another friend who was traveling to Mecca with this chilling note:
When the informant asked whether Mohamud was concerned about law enforcement quashing the attack, his reply is telling. Part of the reason why he chose Portland and not a larger city, he says, is not only that he lived in Oregon but also because it would be less expected here:
Another chilling detail: Mohamud said he planned to park the car bomb next to the light rail stop in Pioneer Square and wait for a MAX train to arrive before detonating the bomb, so he could cause the most casualties. The name he planned to use to escape the country is weird: Beau Coleman.
Part of the affidavit that's gotten some attention is how Mohamud wrote articles in 2009 for Jihad Recollections, an English-language magazine with hip layout that advocates jihad and violence against non-Muslims. I couldn't find his articles online, but the FBI says the first is called, "Getting in Shape Without Weights" and is about preparing mentally for jihad. You can download or read an issue online here.
The big question on the minds of human rights activists will likely be whether this was a case of FBI entrapment. Mohamud acquired the components to build the bomb, but an FBI informant actually assembled them. But according to the information in the affidavit, it looks like Mohamud planned the attack himself. While they were driving to Lincoln County to test the bomb, Mohamud gave the informants a thumb drive with "detailed maps and operational instructions for the attack." An FBI informant picked Mohamud up in Corvallis and drove him to the spot where he wanted to stage the attack near Pioneer Square and it seems like the informants had planted the inert bomb there earlier themselves, in the back of a large white van (Mohamud looked at the bomb and declared it, "Beautiful."). But Mohamud was the one who actually attempted to detonate the fake bomb by dialing a certain number on a cell phone. On September 7th, the parties met again at a downtown Portland hotel. During this meeting, UCE1 again told Mohamud that this was his choice and he should do "what's in your heart." Mohamud still continued to display interest in the attack.