USF student sentenced for terrorism

12/19/08 Mitch E. Perry
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In federal court in Tampa yesterday, former USF Student Ahmed Mohamed was sentenced to a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison for providing material support to terrorists.

Mohammed and fellow USF student Youssef Megahed were arrested in August 2007 in Goose Creek, South Carolina, after deputies stopped them for traveling 60 mph in a 45 mph zone.

A sheriff’s deputy said he became suspicious when one of the men closed a laptop computer and placed it in the back seat. A search of the vehicle's trunk turned up a PVC pipe containing a potassium nitrate mixture compacted between plugs of cat litter, about 20 feet of safety fuse and containers filled with gasoline and a potassium nitrate mixture.

Authorities also searched Mohamed's laptop computer and found what prosecutors called "a large number of file folders containing information relating to the manufacture and use of bombs, rockets and other explosives, including several video recordings showing the use of such devices to attack and destroy manned United States military vehicles."

Yesterday in court, that video was shown for the first time to the public.

Mohamed’s attorneys argued that there was no evidence that anyone ever viewed the video and took action, and that there were no identified victims of the crime.

One of Mohamed's attorneys was Linda Moreno, who discussed the case today on WMNF’s True Talk.

In June, a plea bargain resulted in six charges and a possible life sentence being removed from consideration in Mohamed’s sentencing.

Moreno said the legal team defending Mohamed tried to get the case thrown out of court on First Amendment grounds.

Yousef Megahed is still awaiting trial on charges of transporting explosives.

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