PORTLAND, Oregon, U.S.A. – The idea that someone sought to set off a bomb during
the city’s recent Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Park has unsettled
the Portland community.
something that feels weird, knowing it could happen here. I mean, it didn’t
happen, but just that it almost did,” said Josiah Miller, 22.
the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, for
allegedly seeking to bomb the ceremony – officials said he didn’t know the bomb
was fake when he tried to set it off – residents have a shared feeling of
think almost everyone is going to feel like that, like it’s something that isn’t
real, Brandon M. Sanders, 19, said.
all, people said, Portland isn’t New York City or Los Angeles. It’s not a place
where anyone expects to become the target of terrorism.
Crowd gathered for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer
Square, Portland in November.
entire family was there,” Sanders said, shaking his head.
scary, and weird, to think that they could maybe not be here anymore,” he said.
event as big as the tree lighting ceremony, almost everyone in town knew someone
that had been at Pioneer Square during the time when law enforcement officials
said Mohamud aimed to set off a bomb, making it all the more personal.
think its cool they got the guy,” said 16-year-old Kaden Owens. “I mean, good. I
mean, he definitely isn’t a good guy.”
Thousands were at the tree lighting ceremony in November so when word broke in
Portland of the bomb scare, many didn’t get the whole story. They got caught up
in blessing their stars that nothing had really happened.
are still not aware that it was an FBI sting operation and that no bomb ever
has led to the thought among some, and also Mohamud’s legal defense, that the
case amounted to entrapment.
sounds kind of sketchy,” Miller said.
said it is “strange how they did it” and that it “seems almost like they wanted
to make an example or something.”
while many think that it is a little weird how events unfolded, they’re
generally content with the outcome.
was ready to push the button, then send him to prison, man.” Miller said.
“Entrapment or not.”
said that someone has “the desire to blow a couple thousand people away, people
I know, and good people, too. Yeah, put him away.”
bomb or not,” Sanders said, “my whole family was there. Something like that
happens, you just gotta be glad they’re okay.”