They want DNA and hair samples, which may indicate suspicion that Mohamed and Megahed were involved in other cases beyond this one.
TAMPA – A federal grand jury in Tampa is asking for DNA and hair samples from a University of South Florida student jailed four weeks ago in South Carolina on explosives charges, his attorney said.
Andrew Savage said in a phone interview Wednesday night that he had no indication why the samples were being sought from his client, Youssef Megahed.
The news came as the grand jury heard testimony Wednesday from people who have connections to Megahed and Ahmed Mohamed, another USF student arrested at the same time.
Accompanied by attorneys, at least three people entered the grand jury area of the U.S. District courthouse on North Florida Avenue in downtown Tampa. They were the owner of a home where Mohamed planned to rent a room, the landlord’s son and a Muslim community spokesman. All three later declined to comment to a reporter.
Megahed and Mohamed, were pulled over for speeding in South Carolina on Aug. 4 about seven miles from the Goose Creek Naval Weapons Station, which houses a military prison for enemy combatants.
The men were charged with possession of an incendiary or explosive device, based in part on items found in the trunk of their car, authorities said. Mohamed said they were carrying fireworks.
One week later, on Aug. 11, the FBI searched a home at 12402 Pampas Place in Tampa that is owned by Noor and Ana Salhab. Authorities said the search was related to the case involving the students.
Federal court records show that Salhab leased the house in the early 1990s to World and Islam Studies Enterprise, a think tank run by Sami Al-Arian, the former USF professor accused of funding Palestinian terrorist organizations….
Not just accused. He pled guilty.
Also appearing before the grand jury Wednesday was Ahmed Bedier, who has been a spokesman for the Megahed family. Bedier is executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations and a frequent media spokesman for Muslims and Islamic causes.
He was accompanied by attorney Lyann Goudie and appeared to be in the grand jury area for about an hour.
Bedier declined to answer questions about his testimony, saying he wanted to check with the national headquarters of CAIR about what he was allowed to say.
Yes, Ahmed, check with them to see if you’re allowed to tell the truth today, or if that isn’t done on Thursdays.