Mindset of terrorism defendant debated at trial

Associated Press
FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2010 file photo, a crowd watches as a Christmas tree is lit on Pioneer Courthouse square Friday night in Portland, Ore. where federal agents in a sting operation arrested a Somali-born teenager just as he tried blowing up a van full of what he believed were explosives at the crowded  ceremony.   Portland's fractious relationship with federal law enforcement was on full display during jury selection for the terrorism trial of the teenager. Prospective jurors repeatedly expressed reservations about the FBI's terrorism stings and the war on terror during approximately eight hours of questioning on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.(AP Photo/The Oregonian, Torsten Kjellstrand, File) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES
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FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2010 file photo, a crowd watches as a Christmas tree is lit on Pioneer Courthouse …

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Lawyers for a man accused of planning a terrorist attack during an Oregon Christmas tree lighting ceremony is beginning to build its case during his trial's opening statements, saying he was the victim of a sophisticated manipulation by undercover FBI agents.

Defense attorney Steve Sady said Friday that Mohamed Mohamud was an impressionable 18-year-old who talked big about carrying out terrorism plots but had neither the means nor the experience to do so.

Sady says that changed when undercover agents posing as jihadist co-conspirators provided him with a fake bomb in November 2010.

Prosecuting attorney Pam Holsinger says Mohamud was on the path to radicalization, and it was only the FBI's intervention that prevented him from committing terrorism in the U.S. or abroad.

The trial continues Monday.

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