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November 27, 2010 / Melissa Leeanne

Should Oregon Worry?

I grew up in Oregon and I grew up without much fear.  I lived in a small town and never worried about violence.  Most of the people I know who live in Oregon don’t worry about violence.  When I was growing up, my overly concerned parents feigned worry over my sister and I taking a trip to Portland to see a concert because we’d surely get shot.  Really though, Oregon always felt pretty safe.  And even in the wake of 9/11, I didn’t worry that my state had anything to worry about.

A friend of mine who grew up in my same home town posted an article today that would elicit fear in Oregonians.  I will post the link to the FBI press release as well.  The reason I am posting the link to the FBI press release is because the article leaves a lot vague.  Why did this young man believe he was setting off a bomb?  Who provided this bomb laden van?  Even after poring over the FBI press release, I found that I still had questions, mainly: would this young man have committed a terrorist act were it not for the involvement of the FBI?

As I write this, I am checking other news sources, though The Huffington Post states clearly that the so-called bomb was provided by the US Government, they also threw in a nice inflammatory jihad cry.

Maybe I am too cynical of government and of people in general, but I don’t believe this foreign born, 19 year old kid, who has apparently had disturbed thoughts since age 15, was any real threat.  He apparently failed to get in touch with the second person who was meant to collaborate, we are told, on terrorist activities.  He could not have (a) afforded, nor (b) figured out building a bomb, which says to me that the FBI played a much larger role in this bombing plot than Mohamud did.

I am also curious as to why they were reading his e-mails to know about his correspondence in the first place.  What made Mohamud, a 19 year old naturalized citizen, a target?  Is it because he’s a poor, black Muslim?  To me, it seems that Mohamud was no more of a threat than your average disgruntled teen who doesn’t fit in and wants his revenge. Some kids dream of taking a gun to school, this kid dreamed of blowing up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.  I don’t mean to make light of school shootings, but I’m sure if the FBI ran around offering every teen who wants to blow something up a car bomb, we’d have a lot more lockdowns in our schools.

Note that both Mohamed and US Attorney Holton emphasize that even in Oregon, people ought to be scared/want to kill Americans (so Oregonians ought to be scared). Two posts in a row about America, the fear state?  Next time I’ll choose another topic, I swear.

In case I was too vague, the moral of the story is: take everything with a grain of salt, or a metric ton of salt in some cases.

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