Ahmed Mohamed, one half of the Goose Creek two, received the maximum sentence yesterday for creating a jihad video that was to be used by Muslim “martyrs” fighting American soldiers in Arab countries. He and his apologists still insist on painting Mohamed as a regular college guy. The judge didn’t buy it.
Former University of South Florida student Ahmed Mohamed received a maximum 15-year federal prison sentence Thursday for providing material support to terrorists.
In court, U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday pondered the 27-year-old’s potential aloud, gazing at the former engineering doctoral student and teaching assistant who had once managed a 4.0 GPA.
“I still wonder why this young man in front of me at his age, at his intelligence, how he has become committed to this path,” Merryday said.
Mohamed admitted in a June plea agreement to creating a YouTube video showing how to turn a child’s remote control toy into a detonator. He told authorities the video was to be used by martyrs fighting “invaders” of Arab countries, including the U.S. military.
For the first time on Thursday, prosecutors displayed the video in court.
“I admit that this video was something that wasn’t a wise idea,” Mohamed told the judge in a letter read by defense attorney Lyann Goudie. “I never intended to harm anyone in particular. I do apologize. … I am no more than a college guy.”
Prosecutors also disclosed for the first time Thursday that Mohamed uploaded the video from an engineering computer at USF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Monk said the video was viewed 782 times before it was removed from the site. Prosecutors presented no evidence that anyone had followed Mohamed’s instructions in the video and caused harm.
Federal agents superimposed English subtitles onto the video to translate Mohamed’s words as he spoke in Arabic. He demonstrated how a blue, remotely controlled truck could be reassembled for use as a detonator. Mohamed’s face isn’t shown on the video, but he admitted to law enforcement that he produced, narrated and uploaded it to the Internet.