CNN ran a report Monday about Youssef Megahed, the Egyptian resident alien and former University of South Florida student (where convicted terror supporter Sami Al-Arian was once a professor and the current leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Shallah, also taught). Megahed was acquitted in U.S. District Court in Tampa of federal explosives charges stemming from an ill-fated road trip to South Carolina with an associate who pled guilty to providing material support to terrorists. After Megahed's acquittal, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Tampa took Megahed into custody and charged him with removal (deportation) violations, ostensibly on terrorism/security related violations that are believed to rely on evidence related to his criminal case, even though he was not convicted.
As reported by the IPT in April and again in June, Megahed's supporters and apologists argue Megahed is being treated unfairly. Some even claim the immigration case amounts to double jeopardy. The law, however, is clear. Deportation proceedings are civil/administrative in nature, not criminal, and foreign nationals (aliens) in the United States may be subject to removal based on a lesser standard of evidence than "beyond a reasonable doubt" in criminal cases, even if the evidence is very similar.
There is no double jeopardy. This process is not used by the government frequently and a decision to proceed requires significant review by high-ranking officials within DHS, sometimes in consultation with the Department of Justice.
Today's CNN article contained 55 paragraphs. Of those, only five reflected the U.S. Government's position in the case. The rest of the article describe Megahed's "plight" and how the former foreman of Megahed's criminal case jury traveled to the Florida detention center to personally visit with Megahed and his family.
The network report did identify a few facts that are worth noting, including that a government search of a computer found at Megahed's residence found "numerous videos, documents and an internet search history that supports Islamic extremism, jihad against the United States..." Also, CNN quotes a former Miami U.S. Attorney as saying, "The government doesn't use this a lot, but I think this is an arrow in the quiver that needs to stay because there are those cases where the government needs to do everything in its power to keep us safe, from some of those same individuals." Also, Guy Lewis states, "In one context, the real question is, are you going to jail for a long time. The other context is, are you going to get to live among us?"
The other 50 paragraphs clearly side with Megahed.