TAMPA – A prosecution court filing provides new details of a videotape the government says was made by a University of South Florida student and posted to the Web site YouTube.
The video, authorities allege, was made by Ahmed Mohamed, 26, who was arrested in South Carolina on Aug. 4 along with Youssef Megahed and accused of transporting explosives.
The prosecution says Mohamed acknowledged making the video in which he demonstrated how to use a remote-controlled toy to detonate a bomb.
The prosecution court filing quotes Mohamed as saying in Arabic on the video, “Instead of the brethren going to, to carry out martyrdom operations, no may G-D bless him, he can use the explosion tools from distance and preserve his life, G-D willing, the blessed and exalted, for the real battles.”
The quote comes in a reply the government filed to a motion by Megahed seeking to have his case tried separately from Mohamed. Megahed’s attorneys argue that terrorism-related allegations against Mohamed will unfairly prejudice the jury against Megahed.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hoffer writes in his response that he opposes the severance of the case, saying there is no basis to think the jury could not be fair to both defendants.
The “G-D” portions of the quote stand for the word “god,” according to Steve Cole, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Jay did that out of respect to God. That’s the way he prints that name,” Cole said.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Adam Allen said, with court permission, he plans to “respond to the government’s motion and to fill in gaps in facts which the government has neglected to plead.”
Hoffer notes in his filing that the video was found by investigators on a laptop computer owned by Mohamed. Megahed was seen trying to stow the computer as deputies approached their car in North Carolina, the prosecution says.
Describing the video, a new prosecution court filing says, “Referring to the disassembled toy car, the narrator said ‘We will cut the circuit of … these two wires that supply the electric current to the motor and rather … than giving electricity to the motor, we will route it to the detonator.’ “
“Later summarizing the process, the narrator of the tape said that he ‘will make this circuit send to the detonator’ and, after disconnecting the wires on the toy car from their connection to the motor and showing how to connect them to another type of device, the narrator summarized his product as something akin to a military ‘detonator’ or ‘self-igniter,’ which, he went on to say, is ‘an instrument or a simple tool that initiates the ignition, which in turn initiates the explosive reaction or any fuel reaction.’ “
“That ignition,” the narrator is quoted as saying, “will in turn cause another ignition or the start of an explosion.”