Remember those two Egyptian “students” arrested in South Carolina back in early August for possessing what CAIR spokesman Ahmed Bedier claimed were fireworks but turned out to be pipe bombs according to state authorities? They’ve now been indicted by the Justice Department in Florida.
Ahmed Mohammed is charged with teaching and demonstrating how to use explosives in support of terrorism. Both he and his sidekick, Youssef Megahed, are charged with transporting explosives across state lines. They had already been charged in South Carolina with possessing pipe-bombs. At the time of their arrest, they were in Goose Creek, about seven miles away from the U.S. Naval Weapons Station where a brig that has been used for the detention of American enemy combatants is located.
The men are students at the University of South Florida’s School of Engineering, which Professor Sami al-Arian turned into an outpost of the terrorist organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Now it turns out that at least one of them was either renting or about to rent a room in a house formerly rented by al-Arian’s World & Islam Studies Enterprise. Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism also reports that, according to sources close to the investigation, Ahmed Mohammed had previously been arrested in Egypt on terrorism charges. No word yet on how he was able to get into the United States with that history.
CAIR’s Bedier, after initially assuring us that the students were just a couple of “really naive kids” who happened to be driving around South Carolina with fireworks, changed tacks after state authorities filed pipe bomb charges — claiming instead that their arrest was suggestive of “profiling.” Did I mention that Bedier was one of al-Arian’s top apologists? In 2006, when last we heard from him before this case, he was explaining that, because al-Arian had “stayed true to his convictions,” the professor would not be pleading guilty to any terrorism charges because, after all, “there is no conspiracy to support terrorism.” Immediately afterwards, al-Arian pled guilty to conspiracy to provide services to a designated terrorist organization.