Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Youssef Megahed returns as a student to USF

TAMPA — Youssef Megahed has accomplished one goal as a free man: He once again is an active student at the University of South Florida.

On Wednesday, school officials confirmed his status as a current student for the fall semester.

"Decisions on readmission of former USF students are made by the appropriate academic authorities and conduct reviews," a university statement read. Citing federal privacy laws, administrators declined to discuss any other academic information about Megahed, who is 23.

The engineering student won his release from federal custody on Friday when an immigration judge refused to deport him on terrorism charges after a weeklong hearing in Miami-Dade County.

Standing with his family moments after being set free, Megahed said returning to USF and becoming a U.S. citizen were the two things he looked forward to most.

"He's a free man, and I'm happy to hear that he's back," said Ramzy Kilic, executive director for the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Kilic said the group had been monitoring Megahed's situation to see whether USF rejected his request to return.

Megahed was one class shy of graduating when he and Ahmed Mohamed were stopped for speeding on Aug. 4, 2007, in Goose Creek, S.C. They were arrested after deputies found PVC pipes filled with a potassium nitrate mixture in their trunk.

The discovery led to explosives charges against the pair and a federal investigation that caused the deportation of USF graduate Karim Moussaoui, who violated his student visa by posing with a rifle at a gun range he visited with Megahed.

Mohamed is serving a 15-year sentence for providing material support to terrorists. He pleaded guilty to the charge after investigators discovered he posted a YouTube video showing how to turn a child's toy into a remote control detonator.

A jury acquitted Megahed in April for illegal transportation of explosive materials and possession of a destructive device. Three days later, immigration officials arrested him for deportation.

The FBI accused Megahed and Mohamed of forming a terrorist cell. Megahed maintained his innocence from the beginning.

Kevin Graham can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

Youssef Megahed returns as a student to USF 08/26/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. A 10-year-old's overdose death reveals Miami neighborhood's intense struggle with opioids


    MIAMI — When 10-year-old Alton Banks left the community swimming pool on the last day of his life, he walked past the elementary school where he had just finished fifth grade.

    People walk through Miami's Overtown neighborhood on Wednesday. [Photo by Scott McIntyre for the Washington Post]
  2. Associated Press: U.S. to ban Americans from traveling to North Korea


    WASHINGTON — U.S. officials say the Trump administration will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea following the death of university student Otto Warmbier who passed away after falling into a coma into a North Korean prison.

    In this Feb. 29, 2016 file photo, American student Otto Warmbier speaks as Warmbier is presented to reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea.  U.S. officials say the Trump administration will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea following the death of university student Otto Warmbier, who passed away after falling into a coma into a North Korean prison. [AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon]
  3. Iraqi general who planned Mosul attack talks about liberation


    Iraqi Gen. Talib Shegati Alkenani, the head of his nation's commandos and an architect of the plan to recapture Mosul, couldn't be happier during our telephone conversation last week.

  4. Earthquake jolts Greek, Turkish resorts, kills 2, hurts 500


    KOS, Greece — A powerful overnight earthquake shook holiday resorts in Greece and Turkey, injuring nearly 500 people and leaving two tourists dead on the Greek island of Kos, where revelers at a bar were crushed in a building collapse.

    A partially destroyed building is seen after an earthquake on the island of Kos, Greece Friday. A powerful earthquake sent a building crashing down on tourists at a bar on the Greek holiday island of Kos and struck panic on the nearby shores of Turkey early Friday, killing two people and injuring some 200 people. [AP Photo/Nikiforos Pittaras]
  5. Plant High grad indicted in brawl on Delta flight to China


    SEATTLE — A Plant High School graduate who fought with flight attendants and other passengers when he tried to open the exit door of a Delta Air Lines flight bound from Seattle to China has been indicted on five federal charges, prosecutors said Thursday.

    Joseph Daniel Hudek IV, 23, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on one count of interfering with the flight crew and four counts of assault on an aircraft. [Facebook]