Megahed and Mohamed Update. "2 charged with felonies in explosives scare; Authorities tightlipped on what was found in car," by Noah Haglund and Andy Paras for the Charleston News and Courier (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
GOOSE CREEK — Two men pulled over Saturday in Goose Creek and detained for carrying explosives in the trunk of a car have been charged with possession of an incendiary device, Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt announced today.
If convicted of the charges, Youseff Megahed, 21, and Ahmed Mohamed, 24, could face between 2 to 15 years in prison.
DeWitt said the men were pulled over Saturday night on U.S. Highway 176 while driving more than 60 mph in a 45-mph zone. When an officer approached the car, he saw one of them men fold a laptop computer, which the officer believed was suspicious, DeWitt said.
The officer asked them if he could search the car, which the men agreed to. When he asked if there was anything in the car he should know about, the men said there were fireworks in the trunk.
DeWitt declined to say this morning exactly what was found in the trunk. However, the FBI has already said the men are not suspected of orchestrating a terrorist plot.
Then what were they doing? Why 2 to 15 years in prison?
CAIR's Ahmed Bedier has picked up on this incongruity also:
And an Islamic community leader from Tampa, Fla., who’s been in touch with the families of the two detained college students, told The Post and Courier that Megahed and Mohamed are not troublemakers and that they a were simply on a weekend trip to North Carolina.
Ahmed Bedier, executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights organization for Muslims, said family members have told him they think the materials were leftover fireworks Megahed kept in his trunk since July 4.
“Both of them are really naïve kids,” Bedier said.
He said Megahed is a permanent legal resident of the United States and Mohamed was the passenger. Mohamed’s legal status is not known.
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions,” Bedier said.
A terrorism task force, meanwhile is reviewing the evidence, said FBI spokesman Richard Kolko.
“At this point, it is too early in the investigation to say there is any link to terrorism,” Kolko said.