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. Trent

    He's not worth the bullet it'd take to execute him. Hang him; rope is recyclible.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gabriel Dumont

    So where is the outrage from the moderate Muslim community?

    November 27, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DeniseAustin

    C'mon ladies! Now we strap on the vest! 2345... Click the button 2345...

    November 27, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Phantom

    You no keel the Zohan...

    November 27, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MuslimCommunity

    Really nobody is keeping "their own" in check. Whites blame blacks, blacks blame whites, christians blame muslims, muslims blame jews. It's really about good vs bad and we let the ones most like us slide. Human nature?

    November 27, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joe schmuckelly

    With profiling you can catch lowlifes like this without groping.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    Hi Quincy9, I feel that I need to respond to your post. I am an immigrant who came to this country 3 years ago. I am technically a muslim and I still believe that Islam as a philosophy is no different than christianity and judaism. it is hard to explain how painful it is to be associated to people like this delusional person, who is willing to harm innocent children, women, and men, simply because we were born muslims. I would have given you an explanation to why those people do this if I could understand them. it is beyond me how somebody could harm an innocent child. America has been extremely generous to new immigrants and I am one of them. I'm currently a student, and a volunteer but I can't wait until I start my medical career so I can give back to this great country and help its citizens. I know that most muslims have the same admiration for America and Americans. This disturbed individual only represents the downside of human kind. I share you the hope that everybody will knock it off and stop this insanity.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      hi dan, i am glad to get to talk to someone who has first hand experience in being and immigrant to this country as well as a muslim. I have no problem with either...i am honestly just wondering if you find it wrong to profile muslims, somalians, or any other country such as iran, iraq, or any muslim for that matter since the overwhelming majority of what is going on is from them. i dont know if you saw my post but i said, " for the ppl who keep saying about muslims, somalians, ect ect that it is profiling and sterotyping to focus on them more as terror suspects...STOP. if not 100% at least 99% of all the crap happening right now is them. it is not a 17 year old oregon-born kid doing this saying he has been dreaming of this since age 15. it was not an american born guy who tried to blow the van up in times square...not american in 9/11 so on and so on...stop being so nieve" i just want to know what u think. i mean if there were only christians attackign your home country...would it be any different to profile them? i honestly do not mean any insult in this question i just really want to know from someone who has first hand experience..thank you

      November 27, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    for the ppl who keep saying about muslims, somalians, ect ect that it is profiling and sterotyping to focus on them more as terror suspects...STOP. if not 100% at least 99% of all the crap happening right now is them. it is not a 17 year old oregon-born kid doing this saying he has been dreaming of this since age 15. it was not an american born guy who tried to blow the van up in times square...not american in 9/11 so on and so on...stop being so nieve

    November 27, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dan

    How tragic that this young man's life has been stolen from him by the lies of islam. I am truly heart-broken to look at his mug shot and see the hatred in his eyes. I pray that the love of Jesus Christ would invade his heart and that he would be delivered out of the darkness that surrounds him.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lean6

    I'm totally picturing the old SNL skits where "We are here to pomp you op" is replaced by "We are here to blow you up." Not funny at all. It will just be a black versus white thing as always because that's what we see. The apocolypse just needs to get here and get this over with.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan

    If profiling will help save even one life, I am for it, even though it might affect me. However, I believe that we need to make those individual feel that they are part of America, not isolate them more. Isolation might be behind their hatred. Assimilation might be the answer.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hurf durf

    it's gotten to the point where you have to start generalizing, otherwise we're going to be overrun by people like this

    November 27, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Wow

    "Saturday evening, Muslim representatives of twelve mosques in Oregon and Southwest Washington gathered at Portland City Hall to condemn the alleged attack attempt, disavow deadly violence, and to argue that this was an isolated incident"

    Koin 6 TV :

    November 27, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Wow

    November 27, 2010


    “Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center and the entire Muslim Community of the Corvallis
    are outraged by the news of a teenage individual being involved in a plot to
    bomb the tree lighting event in Portland, Oregon. Such conduct does not in any
    way represent Islam or Muslims, rather it goes against it. In Islam, one finds no
    justification whatsoever for any form of a violent act against civilians even during
    wars and Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center and all its members vehemently condemn
    such abhorred plot and all other forms of Terrorism and Extremism and we are
    grateful to God that no one got hurt.
    One should not take an incident or few incidents and enlarge them to include
    everyone, but should realize that these incidents were done by individuals who
    should be accountable for their actions. If those individuals happen to be from a
    certain race, country or faith, one should not blame or accuse everyone from that
    race or faith for the crime. One should never generalize or judge all people for the
    words or actions of only a few of them.
    What is proper is to identify the accused with reference to his act, and not to his
    nationality, faith, or race. Stereotyping or generalizing is prohibited in Islam, “No
    soul shall be responsible for the actions of others.”(Holy Quran 35:18)
    We denounce this horrible plot in the strongest terms and repudiate all those who
    commit such acts of mindless violence in the name of Islam. Islam is a religion of
    peace and these acts are not the legitimate acts of Muslims."

    Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center

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

      That is a start. Now hit the streets and have the obligatory demonstration. Then you all need to monitor and police your own population since you refuse to integrate into our society. Muslims, Islam and your prophet and god have an insurmountable credibility problem. I don't believe for one microsecond that you religion is of peace. I have read enough of your koran to know otherwise. If muslims would just integrate and STOP trying to change the societies into which they emigrate, there would be no problems. Why move into a country that you hate? Stay in your islamic paradises then. I'm beginning to believe that the only solution is the Israeli one. Totally contain you muslims, separated by walls. Then there might just be peace since you are incapable to getting along with others because of what your book commands. That will be your undoing in the end.

      November 28, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      Islam is a religion of death, simple. While they are saying "It's not us, no, it's not us," they are sending money to the bomber and saying prayers for his success.

      November 28, 2010 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. CommonSense

    For how much Jews,Christians and Muslims go at each other's throats nobody ever points out they stem from the same religion. It's stupid

    November 27, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      Jews and Christians have been defending themsevles against these insane killers for hundreds of years. Mohammed has taught them well, and taught them to kill at the drop of anyones hat.

      November 28, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
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