Al-Shabaab militants Flee key town as Somali army Advances
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was held after he attempted to detonate what he believed was an explosives-laden van at an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. However, undercover FBI agents had been monitoring his plans and had ensured that the "bomb" was in fact incapable of exploding.
Mohamud, a naturalised US citizen of Somali descent, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Portland police around 5:40 pm Friday (0040 GMT Saturday).
"The threat was very real. Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale," said Arthur Balizan, a special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. "At the same time, I want to reassure the people of this community that, at every turn, we denied him the ability to actually carry out the attack."
Sources say that the United States and Turkish forces based in the capital Mogadishu have bombed Al-Shabaab's defensive bases from the air, which forced the militants to flee.