Federal prosecutors have revealed that a US employee they call “Bill Smith” contacted alleged ‘Portland Bomber’ Mohamed Mohamud almost a year prior to his actions with another FBI co-conspirator that led to the so-called ‘failed bomb plot’ at Portland’s Christmas tree ceremony last November.

Federal prosecutors acknowledge that a man they identified as “Bill Smith” sent emails to Mohamud in late 2009 and that he was working on behalf of the government. But they say the emails were unrelated to the attempted bombing.

“On the contrary,” Mohamud’s defense team wrote in court papers, “the correspondence between Bill Smith and (Mohamud) demonstrates that Smith was acting as an agent provocateur, attempting to encourage (Mohamud) to engage in violent activity in this country.”

It’s beginning to seem as if the Feds knew they had got their man, and only needed to generate a violent plot around him to save thousands of lives from danger they managed to make up for Mohamed to implement, with their extensive assistance. Fixing data about an alleged crime around an identified alleged perpetrator, if you will.

Mohamud’s defense team contends that Smith began an email exchange with their client on Nov. 9, 2009, initiating a discussion of violence in the U.S. But Mohamud took no action, they wrote, which shows that he wasn’t predisposed to violence when first contacted by the government agent.

Mohamud’s lawyers are clearly preparing to mount an illegal entrapment defense. One way to do that is to show their client was steered, from his first conversation with the FBI, into a crime he ordinarily wouldn’t commit.

Since the subsequent July conversation is no longer available due to battery failure in the FBI device used to record it, and since the initial conversation with a government agent is critical to the prosecution’s contention that the suspect was not entrapped, this newly revealed email exchange with a government employee acting on the FBI’s behalf, to which Mohamed made no response of a violent nature, could be very important to his defense.

It certainly is looking as if the FBI’s showcase “apprehension” and prosecution (initially timed with Portland’s decision to rejoin the Joint Terror Task Force on the Feds’ terms) only has run into trouble.