The case of the Goose Creek Two continues to develop. The latest news? A new, superseding indictment and new weapons charges against one of the ex-USF students. Here’s the DOJ’s press release:
TAMPA, Fla., April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill today announced the filing of a seven count superseding indictment against AHMED ABDELLATIF SHERIF MOHAMED and YOUSSEF SAMIR MEGAHED. MOHAMED is charged in all seven counts of the superseding indictment. MEGAHED is charged in counts three and four of the superseding indictment. A federal grand jury in Tampa returned that indictment on April 15, 2008. Both defendants reside in Tampa.
According to the indictment, the defendants were discovered near Goose Creek, South Carolina on August 4, 2007 in possession of explosive materials and a destructive device. The FBI later discovered an instructional video recording which defendant MOHAMED had distributed to the Internet on the making and use of a remote controlled detonation and ignition system.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force in Tampa, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert T. Monk and Jay L. Hoffer.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
Count Charge/Maximum Term of Imprisonment
1 Proving material support to terrorism,
Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339A 15 years
2 Distributing information which teaches and demonstrates the making or use of explosives,
Title 18, United states Code, Section 842(p)(2)(A) 20 years
3 Transporting explosive materials in interstate commerce without the requisite federal license
Title 18, United States Code, Section 842(a)(3)(A) 10 years
4 Possession of a destructive device without the proper registration
Title 26, United States Code, Section 5861(d) 10 years
5 & 6 Illegal possession of a firearm by a non-immigrant alien, Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(5)(B) 10 years for each count
7 Carrying a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence,
Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A) Life
Tampa Trib has the indictment and coverage.
Megahed and Mohamed men are scheduled to go on trial April 28 on one of the charges, illegally transporting explosives. Mohamed is scheduled to have a separate trial on a charge he tried to help terrorists by posting on the Internet a video in which he showed how to use a remote-controlled toy to detonate a bomb.
Defense attorneys disagreed on whether the new indictment should affect the trial schedule, with Megahed’s lawyer expecting no effect and Mohamed’s lawyer saying there should be a delay.
Megahed and Mohamed both are newly charged in the indictment with possessing a destructive device. The new indictment also includes the charge from the previous indictment of transporting explosive materials.
Mohamed also is newly charged with providing material support to terrorists, and possessing a pistol and a rifle in violation of visa guidelines. The new indictment also contains the charge in the previous indictment against Mohamed of teaching and demonstrating the use of explosives with the intent to help terrorists.
One new charge against Mohamed accuses him of carrying a destructive device while providing material support to terrorists on Aug. 4, the day of the men’s arrest. Attorneys have said that the video Mohamed is accused of posting on YouTube had been removed by that day. It’s unclear how prosecutors believe Mohamed was helping terrorists on that date. That is the most serious charge in the indictment, carrying up to a life sentence.
Meanwhile, via the Jawa Report: Dumb juror syndrome in Miami. Agh.