CAIR’s Ahmed Bedier, you may recall, said these were a couple of naive kids with fireworks in their trunk. But they seem to have friends in high places in Egypt. Goose Creek Jihad Update: “USF students’ box of bullets adds intrigue,” by Abbie Vansickle and Kevin Graham for the St. Petersburg Times (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
TAMPA — Bullets were among the items investigators found in the car of two University of South Florida students.
The deputy who pulled over Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed and Youssef Samir Megahed, 21, found a box of bullets near the seat, several pipe bombs in the trunk and “other suspicious items,” according to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.
The men have said they had only fireworks, but deputies found no sign of any commercial fireworks, said Berkeley County Chief Deputy C.W. Henerey.
The new information only deepened the mystery of why the two engineering students ended up on Aug. 4 in Goose Creek, S.C., a suburban city near Charleston.
A Tampa grand jury indicted the men last week on charges of transporting explosives in interstate commerce without permits.
Mohamed, whose age has been listed variously as 24 and 26, is also charged with distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction, a terrorism-related statute.
The two men, who are Egyptian citizens, have yet to appear in federal court.
On Wednesday, a high-level official from the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C., visited the jail in rural Moncks Corner. Andy Savage, attorney for Megahed, said Ashraf Salama spoke with the two defendants for more than four hours. Defense attorneys were present, although the conversation was mostly in Arabic.
Savage said Salama wanted to be assured the men were being treated properly. And he also refuted a widespread rumor that one of them had a previous arrest in Egypt.