Road Trip Ends with Arrests
Ahmed Mohamed's trip ended in a South Carolina jail cell. But, it started when he was kicked out of his home. The 26-year-old Kuwaiti national had just moved into a house in Sulphur Springs. His former housemate says right from the beginning, Mohamed kept her up late at night as he entertained friends.
Tampa Police records show Mohamed was cited for shooting at squirrels with a high powered pellet gun last month. Mohamed's housemate says around that same time, she got tired of the late nights and told him to leave. He finally packed up and moved out this past Friday. By Sunday the FBI visited Mohamed's former residence.
Why Mohamed traveled to South Carolina is unclear. Authorities there told WUSF he gave conflicting accounts of his visit to the state. However, Mohamed's English is poor and authorities say communication has been a barrier.
It's also unclear why Yousef Megahed was in the car. Speaking through the Tampa Council on American Islamic relations, his family says Megahed may have left un-used fireworks from the fourth of July in the trunk of the Toyota sedan the two were driving.
Police dispute this, saying the explosives were not fireworks, but pipe bombs built from materials purchased at Wal-Mart. CAIR also says Megahed may have initiated the trip;' he wanted to sightsee in the Carolina's.
CAIR spokesman Ahmed Bedier calls the men, in his words, na ve and stresses they deserve due process and a fair hearing.
©2015 WUSF. All rights reserved.