Lots of interesting new information on the South Carolina fireworks duo in this article:
A laptop computer deputies found when they pulled over two University of South Florida students in South Carolina contained a video made by one of the men showing how to use a toy to detonate a bomb remotely, a federal prosecutor said Friday.
On that video, the student, Ahmed Mohamed, said the detonator could "save one who wants to be a martyr for another day, another battle," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hoffer said.
The prosecutor said that video was posted by Mohamed on YouTube, a popular Web site.
Also on the laptop were "jihadi" images and footage of rockets used by Hamas, Hoffer said.~~~
Hoffer said that when deputies in South Carolina pulled the pair over for speeding on Aug. 4, they saw Megahed, who was the passenger, trying to put away the laptop computer that belonged to Mohamed. When investigators analyzed the computer, they found that the last-viewed images showed Qassam rockets, which are used by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Also on the computer were videos of discussions of martyrdom and videos showing the firing of M-16 rifles, Hoffer said.
In the trunk, deputies found four small sections of PVC pipe, at least three of which were stuffed with a "potassium nitrate explosive mixture" of potassium nitrate, Karo syrup and kitty litter, Hoffer said. He said the kitty litter served as a binder to keep the substance from coming out of the pipes, which were not capped.
Investigators also found a container of gasoline, 20 feet of safety fuse and an electric drill, which Hoffer said could be used to drill holes in the pipe so fuses could be attached.~~~
Mohamed also is charged with demonstrating how to make explosives with the intent of helping terrorists. That charge evidently refers to the video, which Hoffer said Mohamed admitted making in his home in July using a camcorder. Hoffer said Mohamed posted the video on YouTube under another name. It shows Mohamed from the chest down standing in front of a tabletop and taking apart a radio-controlled toy car and pulling a wire from the remote control.
Hoffer said that in the video, Mohamed makes a statement about the toy car being similar to a boat. The federal prosecutor noted that when investigators searched the Megahed home with the family’s permission, they found a remote-controlled boat.
Under the passenger seat of the car in South Carolina, deputies found ammunition, said Hoffer, but no firearms.
Hoffer said investigators also searched a commercial storage facility. Inside they found a .22-caliber rifle that Megahed had purchased lawfully. Hoffer said Megahed recently tried to purchase a handgun.
Also in the storage facility were welding supplies and scuba diving equipment. Hoffer said Megahed has skill as a welder, so there could be a legitimate reason for those items.
The prosecutor said that when deputies questioned Megahed, he initially denied knowing about "these rockets or fireworks in the trunk." But when both defendants were put in the back seat of a patrol vehicle, their conversation in Arabic secretly was recorded, Hoffer said.
A translation summary of the recording shows Megahed asking about what happened to the explosives, Hoffer said, which the prosecutor said shows Megahed was aware of what was in the trunk. The car, Hoffer said, was registered to Megahed’s brother.~~~
Hoffer said Megahed applied to become a citizen last year but was turned down by immigration officials because he had been out of the country for more than 1,600 days during a five-year period that ended in 2003. During that time, he made numerous trips to Egypt, many lasting more than six months, Hoffer said.
Hoffer said Megahed also traveled to Canada, Saudia Arabia and Nigeria, "which is also of interest to the United States."
A quick summarization.
- The duo had the material to make explosive devices.
- The duo had videos of Jihadist firing weapons and how to become a martyr.
- One of the men, Mohammed, had made videos on how to make a device that will allow the jihadist to "save one who wants to be a martyr for another day, another battle."
- In the same video Mohammed states that the device he is making is similar in design to a boat, during a search warrant of Megahed’s property scuba diving equipment is found along with welding equipment.
- Megahed lied about having knowledge of the explosives and the videos.
- The duo were driving by a nuclear training navy base.
- Megahed has traveled extensively to Egypt, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria.
Knowing all this Judge Jenkins allowed Megahed to be released on bond. Why you ask? Because of the very same reason why law enforcement is NOT the way to fight a war on terror.
U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Jenkins ruled Megahed could be released on $200,000 bail if he meets a number of strict conditions, including what amounts to house arrest. "I do agree he poses a danger, no question about that, based on what was found in the car," Jenkins said. She also said the government failed to demonstrate a specific danger to the community, as required by law.
There you have it.
It’s true, the government failed to demonstrate a specific danger. Add all the above up and these two were most definitely up to activities that would harm our nation. But in a court of law you cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
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