Portland Police Say Threat Was Real, But Public Not In Danger

The Portland Police department gives credit to the FBI for making sure that 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud was stopped before he could carry out a terror attack.

Agents arrest Mohamud in downtown Portland as he thought he was detonating a van packed with powerful explosives. His target was a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

What Mohamud didn't know is that the men he was with were Federal Agents and the van had been rigged to look like a bomb, but didn't have live detonators.  As soon as Mohamud dialed the cell phone number he thought would ignite the bomb, he was arrested.

Chief Michael Reese stated, "This threat was very real but at no point was the public ever in danger. The cooperation of various law enforcement agencies was critical in making this case. I appreciate the partnership we have with the FBI and I'm very proud of the Portland Police Bureau's role in this investigation. The Portland Police Bureau works to maintain the highest level of safety for our community and this case stands as an example of our commitment to the people we serve."

Mayor Sam Adams said, "A smart federal, state and local law enforcement investigation caught a criminal tonight bent on mass destruction and murder in our city." "The bomb was a fake but the criminal who tried to detonate it was real.  My deepest thanks to the local teams at the United States Department of Justice, FBI, Portland Police Bureau, and other local agencies who were instrumental in protecting our community."

This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Oregon State Police, the Corvallis Police Department, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, and the Portland Police Bureau.

Mohamud was booked into the Multnomah County Jail and is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Portland on Monday. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Mohamud's photo is available at the Multnomah County Jail website, www.mcso.us. According to the website, Mohamud is 6'1" 130lbs.