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The South Carolina arrests
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Has anyone else been following this story about the two University of South Florida students stopped in South Carolina with pipe bombs? They are 24-year-old Ahmed Mohamed and 21-year-old Yousef Megahed, both here on student visas from the Middle East (Egypt and Kuwait). And they were stopped 7 miles from a naval base that housed detainees from the WoT.

They are allged to have been carrying a pipe bomb and bomb making materials.

They said they were carrying fireworks (when police asked to search their car).

CAIR says that Megahed is restoring a car and had tools and oil canisters in the trunk. CAIR also says people are moving too quickly to convict they two students and his information is that they just had firecrackers.

Well a pipe bomb isn't a 'firecracker'. So if they found what they allege, that sort of "defense" seems pretty foolish. But it is interesting how CAIR has jumped into this and is defending the two students on little else, I'm sure, than what the students have claimed.

And what's up with USF?
And these arrests focus attention on the University of South Florida which is the former employer of one of the founders of the terrorist organization, The Palestinian Islamic Jihad as well as Professor Sami Al-Arian who was convicted for conspiracy for helping that organization. And now once again USF is under the microscope.

USF spokesman Ken Gullette says to focus on things like that is grossly unfair.

It may seem unfair to the university, but the arrests make it a fact USF will have to live with again.

USF bristles at the thought it could be a hot bed of terrorist activity, but in the 90's the FBI warned the university that problems were brewing and our sources say the University didn't want to hear it.
Interesting. More interesting will be the final report on what was actually found in that trunk. Fireworks or pipebombs? If the former, then perhaps CAIR was right to step in and caution everyone about "moving to quickly" to convict these men. But judges usually don't set a combined $800,000 bail on fireworks charges. And if they were indeed pipe bombs, maybe its time for USF to get a little introspective on what's going on under its auspices - finally.

Is it the beginning of a concerted attempt by terrorist organizations to attack the US, or another isolated incident which has two "independents" striking out on their own? Or is this all smoke and little fire?
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Previous Comments to this Post 

In deciding on whether or not you want to think it’s a firecracker, also think about this:

Does the bomb squad usually roadside detonate a baggie of cherry bombs?

Because at about 2:45 that morning, they blew SOMETHING up...

That naval base is also home to our Nuclear sub training facility, and some important parts of what we use to maintain those subs.
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Forget the pipe bombs. I want to know what was on the laptop that the "students" were trying to put away as they were pulled. That ought to tell the tale, and the laptop, according to media reports, is currently being "studied" by the FBI.
Written By: Agricola
What Scott said. As of yesterday afternoon it was said on the news that they were indeed "bombs". Also, one of our branches of govn’t (INS maybe?) got really interested and did some legal mumbo-jumbo so that even if these two post bail, they CANNOT leave the jail cell.
Written By: markm
URL: http://

DHS said at the time there was no imminant threat...

Which just puts them under the MacNamara Rule...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"DHS said at the time there was no imminant threat..."

Ats the PC way of saying "we don’t know EXACTLY were these two muslim youts were going to touch off the bombs".

Like Ag said above, maybe the computers will shed some light on that. We’ll soon see.
Written By: markm
URL: http://
And why was the FBI so quick to dismiss this initially? A day after it happened, they claimed that the incident was not "related to terrorism." Well, if you are the terrorist (allegedly!) then you don’t have to be related to anything.
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
Soooooooo What WOULD two arabs driving just miles away from a navy base with explosive in their car be related to?
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"Soooooooo What WOULD two arabs driving just miles away from a navy base with explosive in their car be related to?"

...a future non event that has yet to be determined....but it’s all relative.
Written By: markm
URL: http://
I can’t understand why the Administration isn’t talking about this every chance they get. Too many of us are lulled into a false sense of security and then dismiss legitimate attempts to secure our homeland. If you thought that these guys could be driving through your town it might make you stand up and think a little more.
Written By: G. A. Harrison
McQ, am I the only guy who remembers the M-80 "thunderflash" firecrackers, basically a quarter stick of dynamite with a fuse sticking from the side of the cylinder? You could put together some quite respectable explosive capacity; I have very clear memories of watching a storm sewer grate blown out by a couple.

Oh, and G.A, the reason this gets downplayed is because if people ever put together how many episodes of "Instant Jihadi Syndrome" there have been and are, there wouldn’t be enough left of CAIR and the Nation of Islam to hold meetings in a phone booth. Not to mention a lot fewer exchange students like these two specimens. No matter how many times politicians told us it’s "The Religion Of Peace".
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
McQ, am I the only guy who remembers the M-80 "thunderflash" firecrackers, basically a quarter stick of dynamite with a fuse sticking from the side of the cylinder?
I remember them too (put one in a trash can one time and a friend slammed the lid on and sat on it ... he never did that again - nor did any of us who witnessed it). But an M-80 isn’t a pipe bomb and doesn’t look like one.

They either had a pipe bomb or they didn’t.
Written By: McQ
The Bomb squad also doesn’t need to detonate in the field an M80. They really only detonate somethign right there if they are worried about it going up on the trip home.
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
CAIR says they were going to a NC beach to celebrate one of them’s birthday. why would you drive 12-14hours to go to the beach when 30 minutes away are some of the best beaches in the country (see top 10 list, fort desoto and caladesi island) check that fort desoto didn’t make the cut this year. but trust me it is often in the top ten why where they not on I-95? that’s how I get to NC.
Written By: mike malzahn
URL: http://
Hello friends,
I’m not sure who your sources are that told you the university was warned about a terrorist threat and "didn’t want to hear it." I’d like to point out a few things since my name was in a story on this blog.

A fine university like USF is a victim when things like this happen. The administrators here wept at 9-11 and our robotics researchers went to the World Trade Centers when 9-11 happened and used small robots to go into the rubble in the search and rescue mission. We were there when our country needed us.

USF is one of the three top flagship universities in the state of Florida. It’s a great place to go to school. We do breakthrough research in medicine, nanotechnology, oceanography, public health, transportation, environmental studies, and we try to educate 37,000 students each year on our Tampa campus (we have four campuses) so they can go out and make a positive contribution to society.

USF also does research to help the government detect bio-chemical attacks. We’re constructing a fantastic new building to house various ROTC and military programs. We’re there when our country needs us.

The campus is full of patriots who love their country.

I still don’t know what the motives of the students in South Carolina were, but if you think the very possibility of terrorists hiding their motives on a campus doesn’t infuriate administrators, you’re mistaken. It’s common knowledge that university campuses across the nation are places that a foreign government or terrorist organization may want to infiltrate due to the research and education that is taking place. USF has been unlucky in the publicity it has received, because any of these incidents could have happened to any other university with strong research and engineering programs.

On the other hand, it’s important to point out that law enforcement authorities were able to catch and charge individuals, and the judicial process can now run its course.

If a university student walked onto campus with a rifle and opened fire, the university wouldn’t be accused of being a hotbed for mass murderers. It is grossly unfair to not see USF for what it is—a great place to attend college in a great city, and the tuition for in-state students is the lowest in the nation.

One of the students involved in the South Carolina incident, Mr. Mohamed, had an F1 student visa, which means he went through all the homeland security checks. If he truly was up to something sinister (and we still don’t know that)and if fingers are going to be pointed, I think Tampa is the wrong direction. On the other hand, don’t you think it’s possible that—-if federal authorities were wanted to find out how a potential terrorist was operating—they could allow a person on a "suspect" list to enter the country so they could do surveillance?

No one really knows what’s going on here—if anyone is guilty or what the motives of investigators are.

With 37,000 students on campus and around 13,000 full and part-time faculty, we’re a large university. It’s really a city within a city. There are tremendous, wonderful things happening that benefit the world, such as measuring changes in the oceans to predict the impact of global warming. Our USF Health does breakthrough research in Alzheimer’s, HIV, and other important medical issues. But anytime you have this many people in one place, from all over the world, someone is going to do something wrong.

When that happens, it’s our hope that justice prevails—that the innocent will be found guilty and the guilty will be punished.

If people are considered eligible to study here, we accept them. We’re in the business of educating people. We’re not in the law enforcement business. Like everyone, however, we all have to be vigilant. But we’ll continue to educate people, hoping that they are who they claim to be. If they aren’t, we hope that the proper authorities already know this or will find it out in time.

And please remember, not all terrorists in our recent history have been foreign-born. Remember Timothy McVeigh? Let’s not apply a lynch mentality to any particular group of people.

Ken Gullette
University of South Florida
Go Bulls!!!

Written By: Ken Gullette

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