No bail for Megahed
A University of South Florida student charged with transporting explosives will not be released on bail, a federal judge ruled Thursday.The judge is absolutely correct, the Goose Creek Two are a danger to the public and should be kept locked away, which could help send a clear message to terrorists that no way are they going to be able to rely on bail requests as a means to escape punishment for their crimes, both attempted and committed ones.
In ruling that Youssef Megahed poses a flight risk and a danger to the community, Judge Steven D. Merryday overturned a Sept. 14 ruling by federal Magistrate Elizabeth Jenkins, who said the defendant could be released on $200,000 bail under strict conditions.
Merryday wrote in a 25-page ruling that no conditions would stop Megahed if he “wants to blow something up or cause a disturbance. … I am unwilling at the prospective cost of property damage, injury or death to assume he will not do so.”
Megahed’s attorney, public defender Adam Allen, said, “We respect the court’s ruling but are disappointed. We are going to review our options, including the possibility of an appeal.”
Megahed, 21, was arrested Aug. 4 in South Carolina along with fellow USF student Ahmed Mohamed, 26, after deputies found explosives in the trunk of the car in which the two men were riding, authorities said. Mohamed was driving the care, which was registered to Megahed’s brother.
Mohamed has waived his right to a bail hearing. Both defendants are Egyptian nationals. Megahed is a legal, permanent U.S. resident, and Mohamed has a student visa.
Both are charged with illegally transporting explosives. Mohamed also is charged with trying to help terrorists by teaching or demonstrating the use of explosives. Authorities say Mohamed posted a video to the Web site YouTube in which he showed how to use a remote-controlled toy to detonate a bomb.
"The evidence fails to establish or even suggest any innocent or wholesome explanation for the events that led to Megahed's arrest," Merryday wrote.
"Guns, explosives, fuses, canisters of gasoline, ammunition, welding equipment, GPS devices, all-night interstate drives to an unstated and indeterminate destination, stops to check gun prices and availability, and computers with a recent history of visits to sites that feature the advocates and the means of violence are not attributes that a disinterested but cautious observer associates with a safe and tranquil citizen of the community," the judge said.
Trackposted to: The Bullwinkle Blog, Cao's Blog, Is it Just Me, Outside the Beltway, Pirates' Cove, The Yankee Sailor.