PORTLAND — An Oregon man accused of plotting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction in Portland during the 2010 Christmas tree lighting ceremony was back in court Wednesday, as the judge heard several pretrial motions in the case.
Among the motions filed: The defense requested that an expert witness be allowed testify by video from Afghanistan during hearing later this month.
Dr. Marc Sageman is an author and terrorism expert currently working in Kabul. The defense argues it would be an extreme burden for Dr. Sageman to travel from Afghanistan to the United States for relatively brief testimony during the pre-trial hearing scheduled for November 28 and 29.
Mohamed Mohamud is accused of conspiring with men he believed were Islamic radicals to blow up a car bomb near Pioneer Courthouse Square on Thanksgiving weekend in 2010. The bomb was a fake and the men were undercover agents.
The hearing comes a week after prosecutors argued over whether they could refer to Mohamud as a "terrorist" during the trial.
Background: Portland tree lighting bomb plot
Federal prosecutors preparing for Mohamud's January trial said in a motion filed last Tuesday the court should let them use the terms "terrorism" and "jihad," because they accurately reflect Mohamud's conduct. Defense attorneys have asked that the terms be forbidden, as they might blur the facts of the case.
His defense team has filed motions suggesting they're preparing for an entrapment defense.
Last month U.S. District Court Judge Garr King said information seized from Mohamud's laptop and cell phone during an earlier rape investigation would be allowed during the bomb plot trial.