FBI Started Following Portland Bomb Suspect When He Was a Juvenile, Defense Says

Mohamed Mohamud
By Allan Lengel

More details are emerging in the case involving a 19-year- youth who was caught up in an FBI sting which involved him plotting to detonate a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony last year in Portland, Ore.

The Oregonian newspaper reports that the defense team for suspect Mohamed Mohamud stated in court papers filed on Wednesday that the FBI began building a case against their client in early as 2008 when he was a juvenile — 16 or 17 years of age — and claimed the agency violated his privacy rights.

The paper reported that the filing stated that the FBI started by “physically and electronically” surveilling him. The paper reported it was unclear why.

It said by Oct. 4, 2009, FBI agents were trailing Mohamud at Oregon State University and secretly collecting evidence against him. At one point, he was suspected of date rape, but was exonerated, the attorneys wrote, according to the Oregonian.

The paper wrote that  Mohamud had signed over his computer and a cellphone to local police to help establish his innocence in the rape case.  The police then turned around and shared the info with the FBI agents.

“Another unique aspect of the intrusions of privacy in this case is the parallel involvement of the federal government, which surreptitiously participated in the interrogations, searches, and seizures conducted by state and local authorities,” wrote defense lawyers Stephen R. Sady and Steven T. Wax.

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