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Alleged Christmas Tree Bomber 'Thought Living In U.S. Was Sin'

Bombing suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud.
Multnomah County (OR) Sheriff's Office
AFP/Getty Images
Bombing suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the 19-year-old Somali-American accused of wanting to kill hundreds of people by exploding a bomb at Friday's Christmas Tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, OR, thought it was wrong for his family to be living in the U.S., The Oregonian reports:

"According to court documents, Mohamud sent an e-mail June 25, 2010, to an undercover FBI operative that said he been 'betrayed by my family' because he was unable to fly from the United Kingdom to Pakistan. After returning to Corvallis, and after he and undercover operatives blew up a backpack of explosives in a trial run early this month in a remote area of Lincoln County, Mohamud made a video and said that living in the U.S. 'is a sin'."

Mohamud is due in court this afternoon. Meanwhile, the Associated Press writes that:

"Portland Mayor Sam Adams said Sunday that he beefed up protection around mosques 'and other facilities that might be vulnerable to knuckle-headed retribution' after hearing of the bomb plot. The move followed a fire Sunday at the Islamic center in Corvallis, a college town about 75 miles southwest of Portland, where suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud occasionally worshipped, prompting an FBI arson investigation and concern about the potential for more retaliation."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.