Officials: Suspects in Berkeley County case had pipe bomb - - Columbia, South Carolina

Officials: Suspects in Berkeley County case had pipe bomb

MONCKS CORNER, SC (AP/WIS) - Bond has been set for two men arrested near a Navy base who authorities say had a pipe bomb in their car.

Bond was set for $500,000 for 24-year-old Ahmed Abda Sherf Mohamed and $300,000 for 21-year-old Yousef Samir Megahed. Prosecutors had asked for a high bond because they said the two were dangerous and a risk to flee.

Authorities pulled over the car for speeding at around 6:00pm Saturday. Officers asked to search the vehicle, and discovered the suspicious items located in the trunk. The suspects had admitted to having what they termed "fireworks" in the car.

Officers say the two had a pipe bomb in the trunk of the car, as well as materials to make pipe bombs.

Authorities used a robot to retrieve the suspicious items from the car, and they also demolished an item found in the car at 2:45am Sunday.

According to an affidavit with his arrest warrant, Mohamed admitted he made the devices from items he bought at Wal-Mart.

Mohamed and Megahed, both of Egypt, were charged Monday with possession of an incendiary device.

An FBI spokeswoman says a joint state-federal investigation is under way to see if there was any terrorism connection but no link had been found yet. The Navy base is the site of a brig where enemy combatants have been held.

Defense attorney Dennis Rhoad says Mohamed and Megahed have a reason for having the items, but he declined to comment further during their bond hearing Monday.

Both are students at the University of South Florida. USF previously was the subject of negative publicity over the saga of Sami Al-Arian, a Kuwait-born professor who pleaded guilty last year to aiding Palestinian terrorists operating in Israel and the West Bank.

University officials say both Mohamed and Megahed were in good standing.

Mohamed, who is from Kuwait, is a graduate student in civil engineering. He earned his undergraduate degree in Cairo.

Megahed is an undergraduate and an Egyptian who has permanent residency status.

Mohamed told a judge he's been in the US since January, and is working toward a degree and teaching at the university. He says he has no family in the US.

As for Megahed, he does have a brother, sister and parents in Tampa Bay. He says he worked odd jobs the past two years.

Both have been ordered to stay in South Carolina under satellite surveillance if they can post bond.

Updated by Chantelle Janelle

Copyright 2007 Raycom Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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