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Journal of International and Global Studies

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Terrorism -- Prevention, War on Terrorism (2001-2009) in mass media, War on Terrorism (2001-2009) -- Press coverage -- Oregon, Entrapment (Criminal law), Critical discourse analysis, Islam in mass media


Our study tries to understand the phenomenon of Entrapment, which is an outcome of (a) security discourses that prioritize pre-emptive community strategies; (b) the ongoing military initiative of the Global War of Terror (GWOT); and (c) and the increased budgetary convergence of state agencies of the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the military, impacting the legal and court processes that indict “homegrown” terrorists. We offer a critical discourse analysis of the events that led to the arrest and trial of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, covered in local newspapers The Oregonian and The Willamette Week, after he was held for the intent to use a weapon of mass destruction during a customary Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Oregon on November 26, 2010. The press and defense lawyers call this a case of FBI entrapment. Entrapments pose a serious threat to community peace and to contemporary understandings of multiculturalism. The coverage of Mohamud’s story does not create a critical shift in the tenor of public debate, which harshly judges any event that has overtones of an act of terror. Our high alert status regarding domestic terrorism, post 9/11, does not allow us, as the consumers of media, to act as a fair and compassionate jury, nor does it instill within us the alarm that might otherwise surround a judicial system that sentences race-d youth of little means to maximum life imprisonment.


Originally appeared in The Journal of International and Global Studies, volume 7, number 2; published by Lindenwood University. May be found at

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