Saturday, December 20, 2008

U of South Florida Jihadist Sentenced

One of the two Egyptian students of University of South Florida, arrested in Charleston, SC in August 2007 after being pulled over with explosives in the trunk, has been sentenced by a federal judge to 15 years on Thursday, "for making a YouTube video showing would-be terrorists how to turn a remote-control toy into a bomb detonator."
U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday said the public needed to be protected from 27-year-old Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, who made the video "to empower others through his teaching to deliver death, destruction and, at the very least, panic." ("Egyptian student gets 15 years in Fla. terror case").
During the senencing hearing Prosecutor Robert Monk described the Egyptian, Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed "as a radical Muslim who hates America and 'embraces a violent and extreme ideology.'"

In the YouTube video,

Mohamed demonstrates how to convert a remote-controlled car from Wal-Mart into a bomb detonator. He speaks in Arabic, saying he wants to teach "martyrdoms" and "suiciders" how to save themselves so they can continue to fight invaders, including U.S. soldiers.

"Instead of the brethren going to, to carry out martyrdom operations, no, may God bless him, he can use the explosion tools from a distance and preserve his life ... for the real battles," he says, according to a translation in the plea agreement.

Mohamed's co-jihadist, Egyptian student Youssef Samir Megahed is awaiting trial on charges of transporting explosives and possessing a destructive device. During the traffic stop Megahed tried to explain the explosives as homemade "fireworks," and their proximity to a naval weapons station as "looking for cheap gas at a Wal-Mart station." Deputies also found the laptop containing Mohamed's video "and other files containing videos of rockets and exploding American military vehicles."

The arrests perpetuated the University of South Florida's reputation as "Jihad U," a nickname coined after an Egyptian professor, Sami Al-Arian, was charged with raising money for terrorist attacks by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He ended up pleading guilty to one count of aiding terrorists and agreed to deportation.

Credit to Islam in Action for the story.

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