Former student pleads guilty

Ahmed Mohamed, former USF engineering student, pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges of providing material to support terrorists.

The material was a 12-minute YouTube video that showed how to turn a remote control toy car into detonator. The video was found in Mohamed’s laptop when he was arrested in South Carolina with Youssef Megahed, another USF student, after they were pulled over for speeding and explosive devices were found in their trunk.

Mohamed faces 15 years in prison. His agreement to plead guilty will save him from a possible life sentence.

Ahmed Bedier, local Muslim civil rights activist, said he is relieved to see the case is nearing its close.

“I think it is a lesson for foreign students that come to study at the University that they have to be very careful in their activities, because of what their actions might be perceived as by law enforcement, especially if they come from Arab and Muslim nations,” Bedier said.

In the video, according to court documents, Mohamed said in Arabic: “Instead of the brethren going to, to carry out martyrdom operations, no, may God bless him, he can use the explosion tools from a distance and preserve his life, God willing, the blessed and exalted, for the real battles, unless he was forced to do so.”

Mohamed also included a way in which bombers could detonate an explosive device from 35 to 200 meters away.

Michael Hoad, spokesperson for USF, said Mohamed is no longer a USF student, so no one representing USF has been at the trials.

“From my point of view, it is disturbing. It’s terrible that someone got involved with that,” Hoad said. “The University’s role is to work closely with law enforcement, respect and help the courts, and to respond as quickly as possible when we know something.”

Mohamed has been in jail since his arrest Aug. 4. Megahed is under house arrest.