Friday, August 31, 2007

Apologists strangely silent as "fireworks" transporters indicted

After the arrests of two University of South Florida students in early August, CAIR-Tampa executive director Ahmed Bedier cried foul.

...To Bedier, at least from what he has said, the arrests were nothing but a case of racism or, as he put it, “racial profiling.” He stated, “Obviously their heritage and background is playing a major role in blowing this out of proportion.” And “We believe that there’s an overreaction that [is] happening here just because of their Middle Eastern and Muslim backgrounds...”

The students claimed they were simply carrying "fireworks" in their car.

...deputies pulled over 21 year old Youseff Megahed and 24 year old Ahmed Mohamed for speeding... Deputies then noticed what are being called suspicious items.

[Authorities said] the men told deputies they had items in the car for making fireworks...

Despite the exhortations of predictable apologists like Bedier, the "profilees" were indicted earlier today.

Youssef Samir Megahed, 21, stands as co-defendent Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, 24, looks on during a bond hearing Aug. 6, 2007, at the Berkeley County Court House in Moncks Corner, S.C. The two Egyptian students from the University of South Florida were indicted Friday Aug. 31, 2007, on charges of carrying explosive materials across states lines and Mohamed was accused of teaching Megahed how to use them for violent reasons. (AP Photo)

Law enforcement sources tell ABC News that Mohamed had information on car bombs and distributed the information via YouTube to instruct others on bomb making...

The charges would bring stiff penalties for the suspects if they are convicted. They could face a maximum 20-year sentence for the charge of distributing information on explosives, and up to 10 years in prison for the transporting explosive materials charge...

[The indictment reads:]

The Grand Jury charges: COUNT ONE
During and between in or about June, 2007 and on or about August 4, 2007, in the Middle District of Florida and elsewhere, AHMED ABDELLATIF SHERIF MOHAMED, the defendant herein, did teach and demonstrate the making and use of an explosive and destructive device and distribute by any means, information pertaining to, in whole and in part, the manufacture of a destructive device and did distribute by any means information pertaining to, in whole and in part, the manufacture and use of an explosive and destructive device, with the intent that such teaching, demonstration, and information be used for, and in the furtherance of, an activity that constitutes a federal crime of violence,

On or about August 3, 2007, in the Middle District of Florida and elsewhere, AHMED ABDELLATIF SHERIF MOHAMED and YOUSSEF SAMIR MEGAHED, the defendants herein, not being licensees or permittees under the provisions of
Chapter 40 of Title 18 of the United States Code, did knowingly transport and cause to be transported in interstate commerce explosive materials.

Odd. No mention of any fireworks. But I'm sure that's just a typo.

Update 9/1/2007 07:30: Reuters Africa reports that Egpyt has requested access to the students, which the U.S. supposedly has "evaded":

U.S. authorities have refused Egyptian embassy officials access to two engineering students held on explosives charges in the U.S. state of South Carolina, Egypt's state news agency said on Saturday.

The two Egyptian students, Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed and Youssef Samir Megahed, are charged with transporting explosive materials across state lines without permits.

"U.S. authorities have refused to allow the Egyptian embassy and cultural office in the United States to contact them," news agency MENA reported... MENA quoted Egyptian embassy sources as saying that Egyptian officials had repeatedly tried to contact the students, but that U.S. authorities were "evading" their requests.

MENA said authorities would either say that the students did not want to talk to the embassy, or would give incorrect information about where they were being held...

What's the emoticon for a yawn?

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