November 27th, 2010
06:53 PM ET

FBI: Suspect claimed he wrote jihadist fitness article

A Somali-American teenager arrested Friday on suspicion of plotting to bomb a holiday ceremony in Portland, Oregon, told an undercover FBI employee that he wrote articles published in an English-language jihadist magazine, including a story on fitness, an FBI affidavit says.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, told the undercover operative last summer that he had written articles for the online magazine Jihad Recollections under a pen name, according to an FBI affidavit filed with Mohamud's arrest warrant.

One of the articles Mohamud claimed to have written was "Getting in shape without weights," which was published in the inaugural issue of Jihad Recollections in April 2009, according to the affidavit.

In the article, the author - identified as Ibn al-Mubarak - writes that jihadists must prepare their bodies for war and "train as hard as possible in order to damage the enemies of Allah as much as possible."

The article implores readers to train without weights, in part because using them is "unrealistic for the Mujahid in the front lines anywhere in the world today," and because gyms are not Islamic environments, with their "music, semi-naked women [and] free mixing."

The piece describes stretches and warm-ups before instructing on ways to sculpt one’s legs (suggestions include walking at least 90 minutes a day, doing interval runs, crawling long distances and sitting against a wall for long periods) and strengthen one’s arms (100 to 150 push-ups per day, pull-ups, walking on hands).

"We find that [weights are] ... a major setback for the Americans and the NATO Crusading army as they cannot go to any battlefront without carrying along with them their bench, squat sets and sometimes even their machines," the article says.

U.S. authorities say Mohamud was arrested in connection with a plan to detonate what he believed to be a vehicle bomb at Portland's Christmas tree lighting on Friday night. He attempted to detonate the device, which was a fake planted by authorities in an undercover operation designed to undermine him, the Justice Department said.

A resident of Corvallis, Oregon, and a student at Oregon State University, Mohamud was arrested on suspicion of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, the FBI said. He will make his initial appearance Monday in federal court in Portland, the Justice Department said.

The arrest was the culmination of a long-term undercover operation during which Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, was monitored closely as the alleged plot developed, the Justice Department said. Mohamud made the article claim to an operative involved in that undercover operation, according to the affidavit.

Mohamud said he wrote two other articles for Jihad Recollections, and that he also sent an article to another jihadist publication, Inspire, according to the affidavit. The court document does not identify those articles.

U.S. counterterrorism officials have said Jihad Recollections was produced by former North Carolina resident Samir Khan, who those officials now say they believe is living in Yemen. Intelligence officials also suspect Khan is the driving force behind Inspire.

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Filed under: Crime • Oregon • Somalia • Terrorism
soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. jane

    Why is this person even in America? If you see the west as "Crusades" why are you here reaping the benefits! Where I live a huge disproportinately of section 8 housing, food stamps, welfare, head start programs go to Somali immigrants so please do not tell me how badly you are treated. Somali immigrants are treated better in AMerica then Americans. I read yesterday about a Somalian couple who were GIVEN a house through Jimmy Carter's foundation. TOTALLY FREE. I know many veterans, elderly people, disabled, Native Americans who would have wanted it... but they gave it to a Muslim couple who just immigrated here from Somali. Please don't tell me you are so badly treated, how offensive!

    November 27, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • gene

      Habitat for Humanity builds thousands of houses for non Americans from third world muslim countries.

      November 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • muhrvis

      I am sure that there are many Somalis desperate to escape bad conditions in their homeland and have a home in America. Please don't mix up this sad nut case with other people who don't have anything to do with him.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Air Force guy

      Wow, you are totally not stereotyping! It's such a great idea to apply characteristics to an entire population of people unfairly! You are totally not ignorant are you?

      November 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      jihadist and fitness seem to be contradictions in concepts.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      Habitat for Humanity houses are not free. The owners take out a relatively low interest (fannie mae?) loan. If Jimmy Carter gave a Somali family a free house, that is an exception to the practice

      November 27, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe schmuckelly

      I think Bubba will show him a few "different" exorcises.

      November 27, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scranton

      I don't care if I am politically correct or not. We should stop allowing immigration from all Muslim countries until we can figure out how to sort out these mentally deficient scabs from coming to America to reap the benefits and then try to kill us. Screw em.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Know Ledge

      a dumb kid, THE END. GOD swt doesnt want innocent people being murdered. Case Closed

      November 28, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      I think part of the problem is Whiny Teenager Syndrome, complicated by a wide streak of political activism. One of the perils of being affiliated with any kind of religious organization is that when we're young, we attribute a lot of significance to it. In his case, being affiliated with religious radicalism just kind of reinforces the Angry Young Man routine, which many teenage young men get, but eventually they recover from it. But in his case, now that he's basically screwed himself for life here, he's liable to spend a lot more angry years behind bars. Probably the best thing in the world for him would be to go back to Somalia, and try and get involved with public works somehow, trying to better the plight of impoverished Somalis, but that would take a personal spiritual commitment far above and beyond the destructive tendencies he's showing right now. It's far, far more difficult to build things up, than it is to tear them down, much harder, to dig the well, than it is to burn down the pumphouse. And, I think that's part of this also, anti-progress, anti-authoritarian, and probably anti-work. But, that's not how the world works, and to try and run counter to the needs of the country you're in, and society, is to be on the warpath with reality. Which, again, if you consider the diminishing role of religion in the world in our modern times, is part of the culture shock that's affected many people of many different beliefs. It's a fast-moving modern world we live in, and it takes many hands to make light work of some of the more daunting problems that people face. Referring back to Somalia, theirs is an arid country by geography, and so one of the biggest needs they probably have is fresh, safe drinking water. May we have more well-diggers in the future, and fewer militant firebrands who only know violence and destruction.

      Maybe this young man can go on 'special hajj', and discuss his hostile actions and feelings with the learned elders of Islam, in Saudi Arabia, where they can help him to better understand the error of his ways. He is a muslim, and muslims are encouraged to make that pilgrimage once in their life. Has he already made his? If not, this sounds like a great opportunity for him to mature, mentally, physically, and spiritually, and maybe someday be a contributor to whatever community he finally ends up residing in. Go east, young man! If the authorities will let you.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Art H

      Bert, there is no "hajj" for this fellow or any kind of future in Somalia for him, where he could "rehabilitate" himself.. He is going to go into a hole for the rest of his natural life. His actions have already done him in. He spit on the country that made him a citizen and turned traitor.

      As a traitor to his (adopted) country, he is lucky he is not in Saudi Arabia or any of the other Islamist countries, since if he were there, the treatment of traitors would not be to send them to a jail cell and afford him all the protections of the law, but to have his traitorous head chopped off. Lucky guy to have had the privilege of American citizenship !

      November 28, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      I couldn't agree with you more. If I had my way all of those people would be thrown out of this country immediately. But the liberal powers to be dont see the destruction they are causing with their stupid policies. You come to my country you live by our traditional rules. You don't come here and try to shove down our throats your stupid tradtions. I hope this renegade never makes it to trial and he gets a knife in the back somewhere along the line

      November 28, 2010 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      THAT DUDE LOOKS LIKE A FRICKEN VULCAN!!!!

      November 28, 2010 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Anyone read John LeCarre? He wrote a couple of books on this type of situation recently.

      November 28, 2010 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
    • PLT

      I smell a set up here . . .

      November 28, 2010 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. Skeptik

    Don't worry folks! Looks like most Islamic terrorists are retards.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      That ther're retards is an excellent to wory about them.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • American X

      no, Just the ones are inept Police – Security – Keystone Cops – FBI are able to catch.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • American X

      correction -" our " inept – hate to have a typo – when calling others inept. : )

      November 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • the light

      Yes they are, they are only successful when they are the bombs themselves.

      Sad world we live in where this type of trash tries to hurt and murder families at a holiday event.

      Someone should return the favor at there holy of holies Mecca

      November 28, 2010 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. mako

    Stretch, stretch stretch, then suicide bomb, a lovely religion for sure. Show your flock your loving way by killing innocent people, gotta love Islam

    November 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • John F

      This guy is a retarded terrorist. If he knew Islam, he wouldn't be bothered about stupid geo-politics and hate. He would rather be busy humbling himself and helping around (which are the fundamentals of Islam).

      November 27, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      Makes perfect sense. Stretching is very important! Why be all tense when you blow yourself to smithereens?

      November 27, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      John F, the teachings of islam are not peaceful. On average, every 50th verse in the qur'an commands jihad against the infidels (unbelievers). The very word (islam) means submission. Why do people like you try to convince others that it is a peaceful religion? Do you know how severely Christians are persecuted in islamic nations when they convert to Christianity? It's not hard to find a video on youtube of someone having their head sawed off by muslims because they insulted mohammed or converted to Christianity. And in case you did not know, the god of the qur'an (allah) is not the God of the Bible. I'm amazed at how many people (even muslims) that think he is. Jesus Christ suffered and died for your sins. He is the only way to Heaven (John 14:6). Repent of your wicked life and place your faith in Jesus Christ. He is only one who can save you from damnation in hell.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Not only a retard but a poor excuse for a gay retard! On second thought that is an insult to my gay friends!

      November 28, 2010 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. RUFFNUTT

    if we ever get a islamic terrorest with an iq higher than 90, we might be in trouble.

    altho i thought of a new business that the cia should start up and real in the sleepers.. 'the jihad gym' only men allowed.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • John F

      All terrorists are retarded. Any one with some intellect will never use religion to hate.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • American X

      we just catch the dumb ones – there are plenty fo smart ones – those are teh ones still out there – that we haven't caught,
      remember – our cops – security – FBI etc ...aren't always the brightest bulbs either –

      November 27, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    He kinda looks like a woman impersonator.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      Might serve him well in prison!

      November 27, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Needles

    This guy won't get a fair trial. There putting all kinds of unproven evidence out there, even claiming he wrote under a different name in some article? He's toast.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      Dude doesn't need a trial->don't pass go, or collect $200.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • capnmike

      Good. Toast 'im.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bajango

    Go Mahmud, go

    November 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • John F

      Yeah. Go to hell. That's where all these retards will go. By the way, it is coming from me..... and I AM a Muslim.

      November 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jihad 24-hr. Fitness Centers

    Help wanted: fitness writers. apply online at NSA.com

    November 27, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Piglet

    Maybe some of these jihadists should try Yoga. Then again, maybe NATO should try Yoga, as well. Drink some calming tea!

    November 27, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jihad 24-hr. Fitness Centers

    @mako...as if only Muslims are guilty of murdering innocent civilians.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bostani

    he looks lik Cesars ex gf

    November 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. George

    Where are the other arrests in this case? Only one person? He must have had friends or associates here? What about it FBI? What about it Homeland Secuity? Is he just a token arrest so you look like all the money being spent is working? If they have been listening to this guy's conversations and reading his email, there must be some people here in the U.S. he was dealing with. Where are they? Who are they?

    November 27, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Ummm... they all work for the FBI. After initial contact with an actual jihadist, the FBI contacted him. Since then, his contact has been with the FBI, the FBI has supplied him with friends and associates, his conversations have been with FBI operatives, and his emails have been with FBI operatives. It is just him and a bunch of FBI guys who created a little world for him.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. sulaymanf

    As an American Muslim, I want to say I'm so happy they caught this guy before he could do any real harm. It's terrible that someone would try something like this, the Quran says murder is a hellworthy sin.

    It's appalling that he'd try to disrupt a Christmas celebration, since the Quran also says that Christians are the closest in faith to Muslims since we pray to the same God and also revere Jesus.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • dontsleep

      We as Christians do not serve the same God. Our God gives, Allah demands. Allah is the devil or his best friend. Islam is a terrible religion. In Pakistan a woman is sentenced to death because Islam cannot allow anybody saying something against their religion and their prophet. Islam is of the devil and this case proved again that this is true!

      November 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gabriel Dumont

      So how come you're the only one that says you're sorry. Where's the outrage from the Muslim community at large?

      November 27, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • mfq

      @gabriel. Oh please. Even if every muslim said "sorry" you and others like you would just make excuses for why you choose not to believe them. But even so do you want every muslim in the world to say they're sorry bc this punk kid is an a**hole? I think if anyone needs an apology its the rest of the billions of muslims from this kid and his parents.

      November 27, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Babz

      Your comments are kind, however it is very important to note that we DO NOT serve the same God. Jesus Christ died for me, your god demands you die for him. My God lives and reigns forever, your god is dead and will be judged by YHWH. Islam demands Jihad and Sharia law; Christianity has no such demands. We are commanded to love, not hate.

      But I agree, I am glad he was caught.

      November 28, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Numbaoneballa

      Correction, the Koran says murdering a MUSLIM is a Hellworthy sin. Muhammad, whenhe wasn't busy raping children or attacking innocent caravans or beheading villages of Jews, frequently encouraged the murder of non Muslims.

      November 28, 2010 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jon

    Huh. Obviously a real brain surgeon we're talking about here.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    @sulaymanf: Thank you. It's Muslims like you that are a pleasure to hear from. But this 19 year old punk, well, Blahhhh.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
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