13 October 2007

Secret Jihadi Code, Or Just Silly?

This is my third post on Ahmed Mohamed and Yousef Megahead, the two Egyptian citizens who were arrested in South Carolina on 04 August 2007 after authorities found explosives in the trunk of the vehicle that they were driving. My previous two posts are here and here.

The vehicle that Ahmed and Yousef were in when they were stopped is registered to Yousef's brother, Yahia Megahed. Yahia caused a bit of a stir himself about a week ago when he was recorded acting strangely while on a vist to the jail to see his brother.

An odd video raises new questions about the USF students who caused a national security scare. Ahmed Mohamed and Yousef Megahed are already charged with driving explosives across state lines. Now prosecutors say Megahed's brother tried to send a sinister code through a jail-house camera.
To make matters worse for Yousef, at about the same time as his brother was "acting silly" on camera, prosecutors released information that Yousef had been researching high-powered rifles.

A federal judge in Tampa on Friday, heard new evidence against Megahed that, in addition to the video inlcudes research allegedly done by Megahed on high powered rifles. Prosecutors say Goose Creek police say they found the information on Megahed at the time he and fellow Univsersity of South Florida student Ahmed Mohamed were arrested in August.

Evidence also includes a stop the two made at an Ocala Wal-Mart on their way to South Carolina and a weapon prosecutors say Megahed stored at a rented storage unit.
Also back around the time of the stop, a hidden microphone in the back of the squad car that Ahmed and Yousef were originally put in picked up their conversation that night.

In the back of the patrol car on the way to jail on charges of possession of an explosive device, the two whispered in their native Arabic while a hidden recorder taped their conversation, according to court documents:

"Did you tell them there is something in them?" Mohamed asked, an apparent reference to the PVC pipes.

"Water," Megahed said.

"Water! Right? The black water is in the Pepsi."

A few seconds pass in silence. Mohamed speaks again.

"Did you tell them about the benzene (gasoline)?"

"I have nothing to do with it. I do the fireworks and so... so... so... that is it."
With that in mind, let's take a moment to recap.

• The vehicle that Ahmed Mohamed and Yousef Megahed were stopped in was registered to Yousef's brother, Yahia Megahed.

• Ahmed Mohamed and Yousef Megahed had a suspicious conversation in Arabic while in the back of the police car about how to explain what was found in the trunk of their vehicle.

• The pipes found in the in the trunk of the vehicle were not fireworks, and their contents meet the legal definition of an explosive.

• Authorities found a file titled "Bomb Shock" on Ahmed Mohamed's computer. That contained files about explosives, including detailed descriptions of TNT and of C-4.

• Ahmed Mohamed admitted to the FBI that he made a 12-minute video posted on YouTube that explained in Arabic how to turn a toy boat into a bomb. Mohamed stated that "the technology which he demonstrated in the tape was to be used against those who fought for the United States."

• FBI agents found a toy remote-control boat, still in its box, and a partially dismantled digital watch at Youssef Megahed's Tampa, FL, home. They suspect that the items are the beginnings of a homemade bomb.

• On Aug. 29, Ahmed Mohamed and Yousef Megahed were indicted by a federal grand jury in Tampa on charges of transporting explosive materials. Mohamed also was charged with teaching and demonstrating the making and use of an explosive and destructive device.

• Yousef Megahed has two Egyptian passports, one of which is under a different last name.

• Yousef Megahed's application for citizenship was turned down in 2006 because he had been out of the country for more than 1,600 days from 1999 through 2003. That means that Yousef was out of the country over 87% of the time during those five years, and many of those were trips to Egypt that lasted six months or more.

• Yahia Megahed, while at the jail to visit his brother Yousef Megahed, was recorded acting strangely. Prosecutors suspect that this may have been an attempt by Yahia to pass a coded message.

• Yousef Megahed was allegedly researching high-powered rifles. Authorities say the information about that research was found on Megahed at the time of his arrest on 04 August 2007, and that he and Ahmed Mohammed may have stopped at a Wal-Mart on the way to South Carolina to look at rifles.
Take a look at the evidence that keeps piling-up, and then ask yourself if it really seems to match the explanation that Mohamed and Megahed gave of having homemade fireworks in their trunk for a vacation that they were going to have in North Carolina. That doesn't seem very plausible to me.

Also, why is this not a bigger story in the MSM? I've been dealing with a sick child over the past week, so that is why this post was delayed, but it really seems to me like this should be covered more closely in the MSM than Anna Nicole Smith, Britany Spears, and Al Gore.

I'm not the only one watching this closely, but it really appears like it is only bloggers who are keeping on top of it. I'll keep looking into this one throughout the course of the case.


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