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US authorities foil teenager's Christmas bomb plot

19-year-old allegedly planned to explode a car bomb in Portland, Oregon, during a Christmas ceremony.

Image provided by US authorities shows Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19.
Image provided by US authorities shows Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19.
Image: AP Photo/Mauthnomah County Sheriff's Office

THE FBI HAS ARRESTED a Somali-born teenager who was allegedly plotting to explode a car bomb in Oregon.

US authorities believe Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, planned to detonate the bomb during a Christmas lighting ceremony in Portland.

Bloomberg reports that the FBI said in a statement that Mohamud was arrested after attempting to “detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van”.

The device was actually a fake supplied by undercover agents, according to Al Jazeera. The sting operation began in June when agents allegedly discovered a link between Mohamud and an associate in northwest Pakistan.

Undercover FBI agents met with Mohamud and he told them he had identified the Portland ceremony was a potential target.

The FBI claims he went ahead with his plan despite being provided a number of opportunities to stop. Haaertz reports that the teenager was arrested shortly before the Christmas ceremony was due to take place.

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Mohamud, a naturalised US citizen, is due to appear in court on Monday. He could face life in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Just under a year ago, a Nigerian man was charged with attempting to blow up a plane in Detroit. The man had been overpowered by passengers and flight crew on board the transatlantic jet when he tried to detonate the device.

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