paul’s words

Click your browser’s “Back” button to return to SmashingIkons


Is this the whole story? Is this all the information you’ll give us?


Suspected explosives

just normal fireworks

    TAMPA - Two Egyptian college students arrested near a South Carolina Navy weapons station last year were carrying low-grade fireworks, as they claimed, not the dangerous explosives as charged by federal prosecutors, the FBI has determined.

    Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, 26, and Youssef Samir Megahed, 21, have been in jail since sheriff's deputies found what they called bomb-making materials in the trunk of their car during a traffic stop near Charleston, S.C.

    The FBI report was submitted to the court Wednesday by Megahed's public defender as part of a motion seeking bail.

as reported in The Salt Lake Tribune, February 1, 2008, page A-2.

Paul’s Query: Why were these men stopped in the first place?

Hey, they looked foreign and they were driving near a military installation.

Q: Why is this case reported from Tampa, Florida, rather than Charleston, South Carolina?

We made it into a federal case because the Florida prosecutors have a better record of convicting bad guys.

Q: What was the basis for the deputies’ search of the trunk of the car?

The deputies had a well-founded suspicion that justified the search: these suspects were acting suspiciously.

Q: Why does it take so long for the FBI to determine that these were firecrackers?

The FBI has a big caseload since 9/11. Once we have suspects in custody, there’s less urgency.

Q: “Last year” tells us that these two men have been in jail without bail for at least a month. Is that what is meant by a “speedy trial”? When did the arrest actually occur?

We’re doing the best we can defending the US against the bad guys who are up to no good and want to do harm to this country. Congress hasn’t provided adequate funding for all the tough work we have to do, and they’ve clarified the meaning of “speedy” in these terrorism cases to mean “sometime during this decade or before the end of the war on terror, whichever comes later”. The arrest occurred last year - that’s all you need to know.

Q: What does it mean to be “near a ... Navy weapons station”? Is it “near an Air Force weapons station” to drive on Interstate-15, by the main gate to Hill Air Force Base in northern Utah? Aren’t a lot of bombs stored there?

We aren’t answering any questions about what is at Hill. And if you look suspicious, wherever you drive, you are in trouble.

Q: Please tell us the name of the heroic public defender - s/he deserves our praise and gratitude for good lawyering.

That scum-bag attorney is helping our enemies by defending these criminals. He should be disbarred and prosecuted as a traitor. He’s just abusing the system.


Our civil liberties are disappearing.

W. Paul Wharton