Posted by Curt on 7 August, 2007 at 10:38 pm. 7 comments already!

Started a new post on the two Middle Eastern firework enthusiasts arrested in South Carolina a few days ago.  Check out my earlier thread here with lots of info.  Now onto the new stuff, and its a doozy:

Investigators have removed computers from the family home of a University of South Florida student accused of having pipe bombs in his car, according to Ahmed Bedier, executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

He said the FBI contacted the parents of Yousseff Samir Megahed of 4959 Anniston Circle, Tampa, who were on vacation, and got permission to search their home. When they returned, their computers were gone.

Megahed is one of two USF students arrested near a naval base in South Carolina over the weekend.

~~~

An arrest affidavit from the Berkeley County, S.C., Sheriff’s Office says that Mohamed told deputies he made the devices from components he bought at Wal-Mart.

The men told deputies that the explosives were fireworks, according to Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sharon Weber said the FBI had gone to a store for surveillance footage but declined to say which store or what is on the tape.

"The FBI has been to a store and picked up videotape," she said. "It’s an open investigation. I don’t think it would be appropriate to respond to specific questions."

~~~

On July 24, Tampa police accused Mohamed of illegally shooting squirrels in an east Tampa park. Police say he and Ahmad A. Ishtay, 19, used a pellet gun to shoot the animals in Rowlette Park.

Both were issued citations for discharging a firearm and using an illegal method of taking game, a report said. The case has not been resolved, court records show.

"He invited me," Ishtay said about going to the park with Mohamed.

Ishtay, who rents a Temple Terrace house and works at Boston Market, said he met Mohamed and Megahed through a roommate. He said he didn’t know the roommate’s last name, but he was from Mauritania.

Another of Ishtay’s roommates, Ghassan Salhab, 27, said the man from Mauritania moved here from Canada recently and returned there Monday.

Don’t know about you but the FBI searching their homes and seizing their computers makes me think there is a bit more to this story then some guys on a pleasure drive with their toy rockets and fireworks.

UPDATE

Now the neighbors are coming into the picture:

Sherri Jackson who was Megahed’s neighbor until March says FBI agents told her they were terrorists.

Jackson says the FBI came to question her Sunday.

Jackson says things seemed suspicious

She says she saw lot of traffic, a lot of people going back and forth, oxygen tanks being delivered UPS and Fed Ex deliveries and a lot going on.

~~~

Sherri Jackson is positive of one thing, her former neighbor left as if he didn’t want to be found.

Jackson says they left in a hurry. She adds when they moved in they never looked like they were settled instead they looked like they could be gone in five minutes.

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.

Which along with the last few paragraphs of the first report really starts to get the hairs on the back of my head standing up:

Ishtay, who rents a Temple Terrace house and works at Boston Market, said he met Mohamed and Megahed through a roommate. He said he didn’t know the roommate’s last name, but he was from Mauritania.

Another of Ishtay’s roommates, Ghassan Salhab, 27, said the man from Mauritania moved here from Canada recently and returned there Monday.

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