Affidavit Shines More Light on USF Case
September 27, 2007
FBI agents in South Carolina apparently waged a new search earlier this month on the Toyota Camry driven by two University of South Florida students charged with illegally transporting explosives.
In the affidavit by FBI Agent Daniel J. McTavish, new details emerge about a video found on defendant Ahmed Mohamed's laptop computer. The 12-minute video is narrated by a man with an Egyptian accent whose face is never seen. He demonstrates how to alter a remote controlled car into a detonator.
Mohamed told South Carolina police that he made the video "to assist those persons in Arabic countries to defend themselves against the infidels invading their countries," McTavish wrote. That includes "American troops and those forces fighting with the American military."
Investigators also found files labeled "Bomb Shock" and "High-Order Explosives" in the computer. The latter file contained information on using TNT and C-4, McTavish wrote.
Mohamed was driving when the Camry was stopped for speeding in Berkeley County, S.C. on Aug. 4. Passenger Youssef Megahed had the computer on his lap and appeared to be putting it away as the police officer approached.
Among the files most recently viewed before the traffic stop were videos showing Qassam rockets being fired along with visits to Web sites relating to Hamas and videos involving martyrs, federal prosecutor Jay Hoffer said during a hearing earlier this month.
Investigators found a low-grade explosive mixture in PVC pipe sections in the car. The mixture included potassium nitrate, Karo syrup and kitty litter. In addition, 20 feet of safety fuse and a mostly full 5-gallon gas can were found.Both men are charged with transporting the explosive. Mohamad is charged with teaching and demonstrating how to make an explosive device. They are being held without bond in Tampa, although a magistrate judge ruled earlier this month that Megahed could be released on bond. That ruling has been frozen by a government appeal