|Woodburn Outlet Mall|
Raed Abdelli, one of Mohamud's college buddies, recounted in court Friday seeing the accused bomber at the Woodburn Company Stores Outlet Mall on Black Friday, while both were shopping with friends.
A few hours later Mohamud would be throwing a toggle switch to activate a bomb and punching in a code on a cellphone to detonate it.
Did that mean he was having fun shopping with friends? His last hurrah before skating off to Yemen after the bombing? The jury is left to decide.
Another friend, Elyssa Redinger said Mo Mo was happy, singing along in the car to eat on their trip to Beaverton for Thanksgiving dinner. She testified he was happy at the outlet mall. He told them, "I love you guys." Another friend testified Mo Mo actually shared his drink with them--something he hated to do. And they testified Mo Mo kept seeking reassurances that they would be returning to Corvallis without delay after they got up later Friday. Mohamud told them his "uncle" would be picking him up. The "uncle" was an FBI agent who would take him to Home Depot to buy a disguise and then take him back to their hotel to await the bombing.
But how close were these friends? U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight attempted to make that point by asking Luis Martinez, with whom Mo Mo planned to earn money fishing in Alaska, if he knew about Mohamud's writing for Jihad Recollections, his plans to go to Yemen, his terrorist friends or ever met his fiance. He answered 'no' to all.
Mohamud has stayed quiet and attentive during the court proceedings but seeing his friends appeared to have a visceral effect. He started at one point during Martinez's testimony and his attorney patted his left arm.
Terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann says hiding the plot from his friends was one of six factors that shows Mo Mo wasn't just a benign talker about jihad--he was a doer.
Kohlmann continues on the stand today. More on this in tomorrow's installment.