Alleged Teen Terrorist Tries to Bomb Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Alleged Teen Terrorist Tries to Bomb Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

10,000 people celebrated the Christmas tree lighting in downtown Portland, Oregon, unaware that moments earlier an alleged teenaged terrorist Mohamed Mohamud tried to detonate what he thought was a devastating car bomb.

Now the plot to bomb Christmas is causing a security nightmare at upcoming tree lighting ceremonies across America.

The Christmas tree lighting in New York's Rockefeller Center takes place on November 30th and is being televised live on network TV, making it a prime target for terrorists.

"In light of the bomb plot that unfolded in Portland, what type of impact does that have on the planning here in Rockefeller Center?" INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd asks explosives expert Kevin Barry.

Says Barry, "They'll be more vigilant and they'll have an added ring of security to make sure that everybody in the city is safe."

New York's tree lighting ceremony will feature performances by Mariah Carey, Susan Boyle, and 10-year-old Jackie Evancho from America's Got Talent.

The national Christmas tree lighting takes place in Washington on December 9th.

Court documents say Mohamed Mohamud was determined to kill and maim thousands, including children.

"That's what I'm looking for. Just a huge mass...with their families celebrating the holidays," he was quoted telling undercover FBI agents.

Video of Portland's Pioneer Square shows thousands crowding into the square several hours before the ceremony.

The dummy bomb is being compared in size to the device which failed to detonate in New York's Times Square in May 2010.

A bomb like that at any Christmas tree lighting would cause horrific damages.

"It would have been a catastrophic event, turned this place into Dante's Inferno," says Barry.

The suspect was arrested on "suspicion of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction" and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.