Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Warrantless Surveillance Ruled Legal in Bomb Plot Case

Don't Miss Out —
Follow us on:

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- Warrantless electronic surveillance that reveals evidence against U.S. citizens was ruled to be lawful by a federal judge who upheld the terrorism conviction of an Oregon man in a bomb plot.

U.S. District Judge Garr King in Portland yesterday rejected a request to throw out the conviction of a man who challenged the government’s use of evidence against him that had been gathered by surveillance of suspected terrorists overseas.

“When I balance the intrusion on the individual’s interest in privacy, namely the incidental collection of U.S. persons’ communications, against these special needs when the government targets a non-U.S. person believed to be outside the United States, I conclude the foreign intelligence exception applies and no warrant is required,” the judge said.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Somalia, was convicted after a 14-day jury trial last year of attempting to blow up a van he believed was loaded with explosives at an annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland. He may face a sentence of as long as life in prison.

Mohamud exchanged about 150 e-mails with Samir Khan, a now-dead al-Qaeda terrorist and publisher of an online magazine Jihad Recollections, according to the government. He also exchanged e-mails with Amro Ali-Ali, a Saudi national who was in Yemen at the time and has since been in custody in Saudi Arabia for terrorism offenses, according to the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation used an undercover operative who pretended to be an associate of Ali-Ali to contact Mohamud, who wanted to become “operational.” He was arrested in November 2010 when he thought he was about to set off an 1,800-pound bomb, according the government.

Stephen Sady, a federal public defender representing Mohamud, didn’t immediately return a call yesterday after regular business hours seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is U.S. v. Mohamud, 10-cr-00475, U.S. District Court, District of Oregon (Portland.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Federal court in Los Angeles at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at Fred Strasser

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.