Defense rests in Oregon car-bomb plot trial

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Associated Press

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 29 at 6:06 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The defense team of an Oregon man accused of terrorism rested their case Tuesday after 10 days of testimony from witnesses including undercover FBI agents, psychologists and the suspect's parents.

Mohamed Mohamud, dressed in a brown corduroy jacket, watched the final defense witness leave the stand late Tuesday afternoon in a Portland federal courthouse. Attorneys are expected to give closing arguments Wednesday morning.

The nine-woman, seven-man jury will decide whether Mohamud is guilty of attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction at a Portland Christmas tree-lighting in November 2010. His defense team contends that he was entrapped.

In support of their contention, prosecutors brought out the undercover FBI agents whom Mohamud thought were his jihadi co-conspirators. They each testified that Mohamud, 18 years old when they met with him in person, conceived of and helped carry out the bomb plot.

Mohamud never hesitated, they testified, even when given a series of outs, and willingly pressed a button on a cellphone that he believed would detonate a 1,800-pound diesel-and-fertilizer bomb near 25,000 people at the tree lighting. The bomb was an elaborate fake placed there by the undercover agents.

Mohamud's defense team, relying on much of the same recordings of meetings and phone calls, along with printouts of text messages, contend that Mohamud couldn't have thought of the plan. He talked openly about violent jihad and privately expressed glee at 9/11, but had neither the will nor the means to commit terrorism.

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Reach reporter Nigel Duara on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/127q7aU

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