Over in the Pacific north-west of the USA, the security services have successfully put the lid on what could have been a very nasty terrorist bombing – well, if the bomb had been real, that is.
Yesterday evening was the occasion of lighting the Christmas tree in Pioneer Square, central Portland. It’s an occasion that brings thousands of people downtown, including many family groups.
Only this year, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, originally from Somalia but now a US citizen, had other ideas. A van parked close to the tree held what Mohamud believed to be a bomb, and he attempted to detonate it, apparently by mobile phone.
Fortunately, the FBI had been on the case, and ensured that the “bomb” was nothing of the sort. However, there needed to be an intent to detonate the device to provide the necessary evidence.
Portland's Mayor, Sam Adams, has blogged on the incident, and notes that Mohamud faces life imprisonment (period). Given the available information, it is hard to find sympathy for him. Hopefully, the point will also be made that Mohamud is one individual, not all Muslims.
Sadly, I suspect that this will not be universally reported. I’ll have another look at the case next week.