Sentencing to be set aside in Somali Christmas tree bomber case

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, then 19, is shown after his arrest on Nov. 26, 2010, in Portland, Ore. Mohamud was convicted of planning to detonate a bomb during a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony…..

Just when I thought I could take a break from Somali posts today,* here comes news from a few days ago (hat tip: Judy) that due to questions about the legality of NSA spying on private communications, the case of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the 2010 Portland Oregon Christmas tree convicted bomber, could go into a legal black hole.

Mohamud, whose family came here as refugees, had hoped to blow up the tree and the families there for the tree-lighting ceremony.

From NPR:

The sentencing of a Somali-American man convicted of trying to bomb a holiday tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore., in 2010 has been put on hold indefinitely. That move comes just days after the Justice Department notified his lawyers that part of the case against him had been “derived from” secret NSA electronic surveillance.

Both sides met Tuesday in the chambers of U.S. District Judge Garr King to discuss next steps. The judge later issued a public order delaying the sentencing of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, which had been scheduled to take place Dec. 18.

“If sentencing remains appropriate, the court will reset the sentencing hearing,” after it rules on motions from federal public defenders Stephen R. Sady and Lisa Hay, the judge’s order said.

The move could foreshadow months or even years of legal wrangling, if the case becomes a vehicle to challenge the constitutionality of once-secret NSA monitoring of overseas email and social media accounts.

Wasn’t this just the sort of Islamic terror case we should be unraveling with NSA surveillance?

Photo and portion of caption is also from NPR.

Here is our archive of the Christmas tree bomber case.

*Actually I do have more Somali posts, so to readers who have sent them, I am going to get to them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *