These two men appeared in court today, according to TampaBays 10.com.
Tampa, Florida - When 24-year-old Ahmed Mohamed and 21-year-old Yousef Megahed appeared in court, there was no question in the prosecutor's mind what this was all about. She says Mohamed was in possession of pipe bombs and materials that could have been made to make more bombs.
Sherri Jackson who was Megahed's neighbor until March says FBI agents told her they were terrorists.
Jackson says the FBI came to question her Sunday.
Jackson says things seemed suspicious
She says she saw lot of traffic, a lot of people going back and forth, oxygen tanks being delivered UPS and Fed Ex deliveries and a lot going on.
Former FBI agent and terrorist expert Oscar Westerfield if they are terrorist the FBI must find out who is involved in this thing and how far does it go.
Westerfield says much investigation has to be done, but he is concerned that the car was stopped with explosives 7 miles from a naval base that housed detainees, adding it doesn't look good.
No one, at this point can say whether these were two very careless young men out to cause mischief or if there were a more sinister scheme, but with CAIR introducing themselves into this situation, things can only get more complicated for these two men if they are indeed, no more than simply foolish young men.
But Council of American Islamic Relations head Ahmed Bedier says people are moving too quickly to convict they two students and his information is that they just had firecrackers
Fire crackers and pipe bombs are two very different thing and just as with the flying Imams incident, misrepresenting the facts of the case, like CAIR is trying to do, does nobody BUT CAIR any good, least of all the two young men.
And these arrests focus attention on the University of South Florida which is the former employer of one of the founders of the terrorist organization, The Palestinian Islamic Jihad as well as Professor Sami Al-Arian who was convicted for conspiracy for helping that organization. And now once again USF is under the microscope.
Ahmed Abda Sherf Mohamed, 24, and Yousef Samir Megahed, 21, both students at the University of South Florida in Tampa, were driving through the area on Saturday to vacation at a North Carolina beach for Mohamed's birthday, their defense attorney said.
"They admitted to having what they said were fireworks. Based on the officer's judgment at hand, based on what he had seen, we judged it to be other than fireworks," Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt said.
Mohamed, 24, said he made devices from items he bought at Wal-Mart, according to an affidavit with his arrest warrant.
Defense attorney Dennis Rhoad said the men have a reason for having the devices and it would become clear in later court hearings.
"The defendants deny the allegations the state and the sheriff have made against them," Rhoad said.
Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson asked for high bond, which was set at $500,000 for Mohamed and $300,000 for Megahed, because she said the men were dangerous and a risk to flee.
Mohamed is a native of Kuwait and Megahed is Egyptian, the sheriff said. Both are in the country legally.
Now, let me show you why CAIR's involvement in no way helps these two men at all.
Back when we had the flying Imam incident I did some research into CAIR and this is what I said about that and the same applies to this case.
First and foremost, CAIR should stay the hell out of it, any association with CAIR seems to simply give people MORE reason to suspect anyone that CAIR becomes involved with.
My reasoning here? CAIR is known to have terror ties.
Since its founding in 1994, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and its employees have combined, conspired, and agreed with third parties, including, but not limited to, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (“HLF”), the Global Relief Foundation (“GRF”), and foreign nationals hostile to the interests of the United States, to provide material support to known terrorist organizations, to advance the Hamas agenda, and to propagate radical Islam. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, and certain of its officers, directors, and employees, have acted in support of, and in furtherance of, this conspiracy.
Senior CAIR employee Randall Todd Royer, a/k/a “Ismail” Royer, pled guilty and was sentenced to twenty years in prison for participating in a network of militant jihadists centered in Northern Virginia. He admitted to aiding and abetting three persons who sought training in a terrorist camp in Pakistan for the purpose of waging jihad against American troops in Afghanistan. Royer’s illegal actions occurred while he was employed with CAIR.
CAIR's Director of Community Relations, Bassem Khafagi , was arrested by the United States due to his ties with a terror-financing front group. Khafagi pled guilty to charges of visa and bank fraud, and agreed to be deported to Egypt. Khafagi’s illegal actions occurred while he was employed by CAIR.
On December 18, 2002, Ghassan Elashi, founding board member of CAIR-Texas, a founder of the Holy Land Foundation, and a brother-in-law of Musa Abu Marzook , was arrested by the United States and charged with, among other things, making false statements on export declarations, dealing in the property of a designated terrorist organization, conspiracy and money laundering. Ghassan Elashi committed his crimes while working at CAIR, and was found Guilty.
CAIR Board Member Imam Siraj Wahaj, an un-indicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing, has called for replacing the American government with an Islamic caliphate, and warned that America will crumble unless it accepts Islam.
Consistent with Hamas ideology, CAIR has served as a conduit for the distribution of materials and funds from foreign nationals to groups and institutions within the United States for the purpose of promoting radical Islam and Hamas ideology, and attacked Islamic clerics and scholars who reject radical Islam and the Hamas agenda.
Once again, no one can say with 100% accuracy what these two were up to, but if they were indeed just young men out to have a good time, that will come out in court, the introduction of CAIR into this can do them NO GOOD at all.
They should not be convicted because of where they are from, they should not be convicted because they are of middle easter decent, but just as those two aspects cannot be used be the deciding factor, it should not be ignored either.
Which brings me to the easy accessibility of information on how to build pipe bombs and other explosive devices which is readily available over the internet.
We have Islamic Jihadi sites hosted right here in the U.S. and some of them have bomb making guides on the internet.
Some say, leave those sites up so that the government can monitor people that visit them. I disagree with that, I do not think our children, no matter where they are from, should be allowed access to sites like these.
I think the cons of leaving sites like those up, far outweigh the pros.
As more news comes out regarding this case, we will continue to bring you updates.