Sentencing delayed for Portland bomb plotter

Sentencing delayed for Portland bomb plotter
Mohamed Osman Mohamud is seen in a Multnomah County Jail booking photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. – A federal judge has delayed the sentencing of a man convicted of trying to blow up a bomb at a tree-lighting ceremony in 2010 until further notice, according to court documents.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 22-year-old Somali-American, was convicted in January after he pressed a button on a cellphone near Pioneer Square in November 2010 that he believed would detonate a diesel-and-fertilizer bomb. The bomb was a fake, and it was supplied by undercover FBI agents acting as recruiters for al-Qaida.

The judge's Tuesday decision came after it was revealed last week that the U.S. Department of Justice used information to build its case against Mohamud that it had gotten through the use of warrantless wiretaps.

Those wiretaps were authorized by the controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which was amended in 2008 to allow secret electronic eavesdropping on overseas targets even if they also pick up emails and phone calls of Americans.

Mohamud's sentencing was originally set for Dec. 18.

It is likely Mohamud's lawyers will file a discovery motion by Jan. 13, 2014 and the government's response will be a month later. Other motions by also be filed and responses to those will likely be in the spring.

"If sentencing remains appropriate, the court will reset the sentencing hearing after it rules on the anticipated motions," the court documents said.