8/9: Family of arrested student speak for the first time

Speaking for themselves and other family, siblings of one the two USF students charged with carrying explosive devices in South Carolina told reporters their brother was innocent at press conference Thursday in Tampa.

Mariam Megahed, 18, and Yahia Megahed, 24, declined to comment on what may have been in the car their brother, Yousef Megahed, and another USF student, Ahmed Mohamed, were in when pulled over for speeding Saturday in Goose Creek, SC. Prosecutors in South Carolina told a judge Monday they were carrying pipe bombs.

Ahmed Bedier, a spokesman for a local Muslim advocacy group who has acted as go-between for media and the Megaheds, said the family would start a drive later today to visit their son, currently held on $500,000 bond in a South Carolina jail. They have had no contact with their son since his arrest, Bedier said.

On Monday, the FBI seized a computer from the family’s home, where Yousef lived while attending school at USF.