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Bomb charges near naval base

2 men had explosives in their car, officials say. No terror link is found.

August 07, 2007|From the Associated Press

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. — Two men found with several pipe bombs in their car near a Navy base were charged Monday with possession of an explosive device, authorities said.

A joint state-federal investigation has found no link to terrorism, FBI spokeswoman Denise Taiste said. The base, the Naval Weapons Station Charleston, is the site of the brig where enemy combatants have been held.

Ahmed Abda Sherf Mohamed, 24, and Yousef Samir Megahed, 21, students at the University of South Florida in Tampa, were driving through the area Saturday to vacation at a North Carolina beach for Mohamed's birthday, their defense attorney said.

"They admitted to having what they said were fireworks. Based on the officer's judgment at hand, based on what he had seen, we judged it to be other than fireworks," Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt said.

Mohamed said he made devices from items he bought at a Wal-Mart, according to an affidavit with his arrest warrant.

Defense attorney Dennis Rhoad said the men had a reason for possessing the devices that would become clear later.

Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson asked for high bond, which was set at $500,000 for Mohamed and $300,000 for Megahed, because she said the men were dangerous and might flee. Mohamed is a native of Kuwait and Megahed is Egyptian, the sheriff said. Both are in the country legally.

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