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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Goose Creek, SC. College Student To Plead Guilty To Terror Support Charge

Back in August of 2007, two college students were arrested in Goose Creek South Carolina, after being stopped by police who found PVC pipes containing a mixture of potassium nitrate, kitty litter and sugar, in the car's trunk.
Originally their defense was that these devices were nothing more than some homemade fireworks, and on the day of their arrest there was no specific detail linking this to terrorism, even though they were stopped approximately 7 miles from the Naval Weapons Station which contains the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig, where previously enemy combatants had been held.

That soon changed.

It was later discovered that one of those college students, Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, had produced a 12 minute YouTube video, showing how to turn little remote-controlled toys into detonators for bombs.

At the time of the arrest, the executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ahmed Bedier, made a statement saying that these were just fireworks and claimed, "Both of them are really naïve kids".

According to Linda Moreno, who is Mohamed's attorney, a plea deal has been reached and will be entered into a Tampa federal court next week.

This plea agreement (12 page PDF file) shows that Mohamed will plead guilty to providing material support to terrorists and the penalty for that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and supervised release of not more than three years.

There were two elements to count one, listed above and those were:

One: Within the United States, the defendant provided material support and resources;

Two: The defendant did so knowing or intending that such support was to be used in preparation for or in carrying out the killing of (1) an officer or employee of the United States or of any agency in any branch of the United States Government (including any member of the uniformed services), while such officer or employee was engaged in or on account of the performance of his or her official duties or (2) any person assisting such an officer or employee in the performance of such duties or on account of that assistance.

Counts two through seven of the indictment (7 page PDF file) will be dismissed by his agreement to plead guilty to this count of supporting terror.

Those counts, from the indictment were:

One: Proving material support to terrorism

Two: Distributing information which teaches and demonstrates the making or use of explosives

Three: Transporting explosive materials in interstate commerce without the requisite federal license

Four: Possession of a destructive device without the proper registration

Five and six: Illegal possession of a firearm by a non-immigrant alien

Seven: Carrying a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence

The other former University of South Florida student, Youssef Samir Megahed, is charged with illegally transporting explosives and possession of a destructive device. Mohamed faced those charges plus terrorism related counts stemming from the how-to video.

Megahed's trial was due to start in May but the trial was delayed after prosecutors appealed the judge's ruling to exclude evidence. It is not clear when that trial will begin and the judge released Megahed on $200,000 bail.

Previous Wake up America pieces on these two from Goose Creek, found here.

Malkin has been keeping a much closer eye on events as they have transpired and here is everything pertaining to this case on one page.