Former USF student Youssef Megahed has once again been released from federal custody after a judge ruled there was not enough evidence to deport the suspected terrorist. Unless the government can bring more charges against him, he is likely to remain a legal U.S. resident, and as such, should be allowed to return to USF to complete his degree.
Megahed was arrested in August 2007 in South Carolina along with Ahmed Mohamed after police found PVC pipes, fuses and other materials in their vehicle. While Mohamed was convicted, Megahed was acquitted of two explosive charges in April, only to be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Megahed returned to Tampa after his second acquittal and plans to finish his bachelor’s degree in engineering. There is no legal reason why USF should not allow Megahed to return, and he only has one undergraduate course left to take.
With government suspicion running high, he is likely to be arrested again over even the slightest misstep. Even if he wanted to commit a terrorist act, it would be difficult for him to succeed.
While it was not allowed as evidence in his explosives trial, videos of armed rockets and an anti-U.S. propaganda film were found on Megahed’s computer. Some may see these videos as proof enough of guilt, but they can only prove a resentment or hatred for the American government.
As long as there is no concrete evidence that Megahed committed or planned to commit a crime, dislike of the government alone is no reason for deportation and no excuse for denying him admission to a state university.
Megahed is seen as more of a threat because he is an immigrant and especially because he is of Middle Eastern descent. However, as long as he does not act on his sentiment, and there is no proof that he has, then he is no more of a threat than the legal U.S. citizens who express hatred for the government.
The sensational protests at health care town hall meetings across the country are proof enough that many Americans now hate the government the way it is being run under the Obama administration.
In Phoenix, several Americans brought firearms, including assault rifles to a town hall meeting where President Barack Obama spoke. To be so rash as to bring a loaded weapon into a charged crowd in proximity of the president indicates a deep-seated resentment. However, these individuals were well within their legal right and cannot be penalized for their actions.
If no crime has been committed, then there is no reason why Megahed should not be allowed to return to USF despite how he may feel about the U.S.