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. infonomics

    Is he wearing a protective vest jacket?

    November 28, 2010 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. smasheduprr

    Hahah this guy's "fitness" regimen is a joke. Let him keep publishing stuff that belongs in the "go ahead and keep eating all the cupcakes you want hon, here are some stupid no-effort 'exercises' you can occasionally perform out of guilt" section of a trashy woman's day to day fitness mag. I hope every terrorist trains without weights. Hell, I hope they all train without bombs lol. It is pretty cute to see someone still in the "pushups are legitimate weight training alternatives" phase writing articles telling others how to work out though as though he has a clue 🙂

    November 28, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Greg

    with little retards like you and your fellow Muslims – yes, we're lucky.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. jj

    Thank you Omaba, for all the Muslims.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jack

    i wonder if queeny E is still happy about her decision to let the monkies run the palace

    November 28, 2010 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. The voice of reason

    Here's a novel f*****g idea: stop killing eachother over antiquated fairy tales. Honestly I cannot believe it is 2010 and people are still killing eachother over what the imaginary, benevolent, grandpa in the sky says. Religion is the cancer that will eventually kill off our most promising species ,and frankly, it makes me literally sick to think about the amount of foolishness involved.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Sgt.Pepper

      It's just one particular religion that is barbaric and instills in it's children to be intolerant and kill all those that don't submit to their way.

      November 28, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      Your religion is better? The religion that we are all just meat and then we die? That anything is OK as long as the majority agrees with it?

      November 28, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jack

    SHE is the problem ....

    November 28, 2010 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. mwcreel

    Fortunately the types of exercise he's described are ideal for anyone locked in solitary confinement at a mximum security prison.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jack

    oneness is cancer

    November 28, 2010 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. OneWayOut

    This is how ALL OF THEM should be caught exactly!!! Great job.

    November 28, 2010 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. The Dude


    November 28, 2010 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. V Saxena

    Lol. Talk about the wrong way to pursue a writing career. Perhaps he'll do better writing the Prison Newsletter, aHAH!

    November 28, 2010 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. workin for a livin

    How did this guy get into college in the first place?


    What does this say about current students at this tier of university?

    November 28, 2010 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. lil key

    Just remember guys this guy come to america when he was 3yrs old and grow up here in america

    November 28, 2010 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. cabo wabo

    well his new workout regimine in prison would be funny except he will be housed separate from gen pop there and cost us more cash. cant we just stone him? theyre down with stoning so lets bring it. hey lets just close our freakng borders! no one comes in. sorry for all the decent people who are muslim. the terrorist faction creatted abig problem for your religion. some creepy priests did the same thing for catholics. that church should be shut down at this point. religion was meant to guide people in their lives in a positive way and give them something to look forward to in death. doesnt seem to be working out so well anymore.

    November 28, 2010 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
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