Deep in the FBI's 36-page criminal affidavit against Mohamed Osman Mohamud
, there's a very strange passage that reveals another side of the 19-year-old Oregon State student who allegedly tried to bomb the Pioneer Courthouse Square holiday-tree lighting. He writes jihad poetry.
On Nov. 4, the same day undercover FBI agents say they tested a bomb with Mohamud deep in the Lincoln County woods, the affidavit says they returned to Mohamud's apartment in Corvallis to record a testimonial video that would supposedly be released after the attack. Wearing a white robe and a red headdress—"Sheik Osama style," he called it—Mohamud, a self-described rapper, recorded a statement, which finished with this poem.
(We've corrected some spelling errors that we suspect were made by the FBI, which was probably in something of a hurry.)
"And finally I wanted to finish with a poem that I wrote for the Mujahadeen across the globe. It is from your brother to his brothers.
"You stand in my eyes as a white distant pearls who have forsaken their desires and the life of this world. I sit here, cold cement numbing my feet. The world once [unintelligible] honor under Allah and his rule. The Muslims most noble and a mujadid hold onto jihad to continue our rule. When we fell into Dunia and united no more as the pagans rejoiced invading our shores. Our honor merely memories of times before and the centuries raced on as our power regressed. While the humans fell into darkness, suicidal depressed, the Christians and Jews have finally established their rule. In the hot burning deserts, the wind still blew as a few bright faces looked up at the moon. When Ramadan had begun and their faith renewed. So carry on oh brothers, and march on ahead to meet your creator and lie on some beds, and the martyrs don't die, so don't say they're dead. Explode on [unintelligible]. Explode on these [Arabic for infidels]. Alleviate our pain. Assassinate these leaders, commanders, and chiefs from your brother to his brothers.
The FBI does not have much of an ear for poetry, and this block of text doesn't look much like a poem. But it's fairly easy to lay the thing out in lines, since most of it follows the same meter. Like this:
So carry on, oh brothers, and march on ahead
To meet your creator and lie on some beds
And the martyrs don't die, so don't say they're dead.
A brief survey of the poetic terms Ben Waterhouse remembered from college poetry classes reveals that Mohamud has written his poem in anapestic dimeter.
You have heard this meter before.
It is the same meter as Dr. Seuss' "The Cat in the Hat."