Thursday, December 20, 2012

Portland, Oregon would-be jihadist a victim of FBI entrapment, says lawyer

Oh poor Muhamd Muhamud, forced to attempt to commit a terrorist act by those evil jack-booted federal thugs when all he wanted to do was finish OSU and become a simple American like you and me.

I wonder what would cause someone to decide to detonate a bomb among innocent civilians.  I can think of nothing that would get me to decide to kill people.  Not my religion, my upbringing, my lost loves, my lack of sporting skills or even my disgust or our government would get me to decide to kill many.  Islam was the driving force behind Muhamuds decision to try and murder innocents at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, but even that aspect will be restricted during the trial.

Remember, it is never about Islam, never.

From The Oregonian December 19 by Bryan Denson

Jurors in Mohamed Mohamud bomb-plot trial will inspect massive, but fake bomb

A federal judge will allow jurors in the Portland bomb plot case to tour a van -- loaded with a massive, but phony, explosive -- during the terrorism trial of Mohamed Mohamud.

U.S. District Judge Garr M. King made the ruling Wednesday during a pretrial conference attended by the 21-year-old former Oregon State University student. His trial is set for Jan. 10.

The government accuses Mohamud of trying to detonate a weapon of mass destruction during the Nov. 26, 2010, holiday tree-lighting ceremony in Portland's downtown Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Mohamud's lawyers have mounted an entrapment defense, arguing that sophisticated FBI operatives, posing as terrorists, goaded their vulnerable teenage client into a crime he would not have devised on his own.

Jurors in King's courtroom will go to the basement garage of the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse to view the van, which is still choked with a realistic looking explosive that weighs nearly a ton. FBI bomb techs rigged the fake bomb and the undercover operatives showed it to Mohamud as part of the bureau's sting operation.

"It seems to me it's a part of the case," King said.

Mohamud's lead defense lawyer, Stephen R. Sady, argued to no avail that showing jurors the van would unfairly prejudice them and build drama outside the scope of anything his client did.

King will allow Mohamud to take the tour if he wants, and efforts will be made to conceal his ankle shackles so jurors don't see them.

It was among a slew of motions the judge decided in the case. He granted some, denied others and clarified the instructions he will present to jurors on entrapment law.

Mohamud's defense lawyers, citing potential bias by jurors against their Muslim, African-born client, had asked for six extra chances to strike prospective panelists. But King ruled against them, saying he was calling in a pool of 100 for jury selection. Sady said he didn't think that would be enough to pick a jury, but the judge rejected his motion.

"That's more jurors than I've ever called in a case," said King, whose 76th birthday falls during the trial.

He granted a government protective order that spells out extraordinary efforts to hide the identities of the prosecution's star witnesses: the undercover FBI operatives who had posed as "Youssef" and "Hussein."

The two men will be allowed to use those pseudonyms, wear what has been described as "light disguises" and travel in and out of the courthouse outside public view. The defense will be forbidden from posing questions that might reveal their true identities; and the public will not be allowed to see their faces, or hear their voices.

When the operatives testify, the public -- including news media -- will be moved to another courtroom with a closed-circuit video feed. When surveillance videos of the operatives are shown, their faces will be obscured. When they are on the witness stand, the public will hear their voices but not see them.

Sady objected to the cloak-and-dagger measures, saying they will beget "an aura of fear and threat" and confuse jurors.

King asked lawyers in the case to draft an instruction for the jury that would explain the precautions.

The judge also ruled that words such as "terrorist," "martyrdom" and "violent jihad" could be introduced into evidence, but he expected lawyers to caution expert witnesses not to make inappropriate use of such loaded terms. King said he was inclined to let Mohamud's lawyers show their client's family photos and to show evidence that he lived a relatively normal life before the events that now find him in Portland's Justice Center jail....

What would be inappropriate about using words the jihadists themselves use to describe who they are and what they do?  Politically correct suicide is what it is.


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