Federal Charges for USF Students

Tampa, FL -

USF engineering students Ahmed Mohamed and Youssef Megahed are charged with transporting explosive devices without a permit.

Mohamed faces an additional charge of teaching how to build explosives for criminal use.

Even before today's federal indictment, USF spokesman Ken Gullette says the students were put on provisional suspension.

Reporters asked Gullette if the new charges implicated USF in light of the 2006 guilty plea of former USF professor Sami Al-Arian for providing services to a terrorist organization.

'The university cannot control what its students and professors do off campus.' Gullette said. 'Mr. Mohamed had an F-1 Visa...He passed homeland security checks. So if you want to cast a pall don't point it in the direction of Tampa. Maybe point in the direction of Washington.'

The charges against the men come after federal investigators searched Mohamed and Megahed's homes. Authorities confiscated computers and other equipment.

The men maintain the explosives were homemade fireworks.

'Crucial, is the type of explosive charge found in the home' said Stetson University College of Law professor Charles Rose. 'It will all come down to what was in those pipes and the manner in which they were created.'

WUSF's Dustin Hapli contributed to this report.

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