Skip to comments.'Scary' U of M student jailed, Possible terrorism ties under investigation
Posted on 09/16/2005 5:58:17 AM PDT by gg188
'Scary' U of M student jailed
Possible terrorism ties under investigation
By Chris Conley
September 16, 2005
When FBI agents walked into Mahmoud Maawad's spartan apartment at 3557 Mynders # 5 on Sept. 9, they found a desk, chair, computer and a Koran.
They also found an airline pilot's uniform, a chart of Memphis International Airport, and instructional DVDs, including one called "How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act."
A federal magistrate Thursday ordered Maawad, a 29-year-old University of Memphis student from Egypt, jailed until his trial on charges of wire fraud and fraudulent use of a Social Security number.
"The specific facts and circumstances are scary," Asst. U.S. Atty. Steve Parker said, arguing against Maawad's release.
Since Maawad can't get a Social Security number, "he can't get a pilot's license, and can't go to flight school," Parker said. "But he wants to get behind the wheel of an aircraft."
Parker said "we don't know either way" if Maawad is a terrorist or connected to any terror groups.
U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Thomas Anderson ruled that Maawad be held without bond.
Though it's not illegal to buy aviation material, Anderson noted, "it is hard for the court to understand why he has a large concentration of those items, and nothing else to indicate Mr. Maawad plans to stay in the community."
Maawad has been in the country illegally since 1999, and has used a false Social Security number to enroll in schools and open a bank account, Parker said.
He's been working off-the-books for cash at a North Memphis convenience store, and was arrested by Shelby County sheriff's deputies last spring for selling alcohol to a minor.
Agents are downloading information from Maawad's computer and analyzing materials from his apartment in search of a terrorism connection.
"My school is everything," said Maawad, a clean-shaven man built like a weightlifter. "I stay in this country for seven years; I stay for the school."
Maawad said he's studying science and economics at the U of M.
Since Maawad can't work legally, he told authorities a friend would support him.
When court employees tried to reach that friend, the telephone was disconnected.
Between April and August, the penniless student ordered $3,000 in aviation materials, DVDs titled "Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings," "Airplane Talk," "Mental Math for Pilots" and "Mastering GPS Flying," FBI agent Thad Gulczynski testified.
He also ordered a pilot's coat and hat, and a chart of the Memphis airport terminal area from Spotty's USA in San Diego.
When the company didn't receive payment on $2,500 worth of merchandise it had delivered, officials called the FBI, which launched an investigation, Gulczynski said.
-- Chris Conley: 529-2595
Copyright 2005, commercialappeal.com - Memphis, TN. All Rights Reserved.
So does this mean that if his handlers had actually paid for the materials, the FBI wouldn't have been contacted and this loser could have gone on to blow up an aircraft or airport? Now the terrorists have learned a lesson: pay for your stuff and you won't get caught.
Shoot the bastard...NOW!
Now that passengers are willing to resist and even kill troublemakers in the cabin, and now that pilots are sealed into their cockpits and inaccessible from the cabin, Al-Qaeda has developed a new strategy - pilot impersonation.
Rather clever - I hope the authorities learn quickly from this new development and takes steps to neutralize this tactic.
Numerous times I have been on flights where the pilot and flight crew were running late, and when they arrived they just ran right onboard with minimal hassle.,p>Perhaps he was hoping on just that kind of lax scrutiny.
Are you nuts? Shoot him later - extract information from him now, by any means necessary.
The court...Naughty boy, turn in your uniform and be on your way.
Well at least he had an interest in learning how to land.
More to add to the Clinton legacy, I see.
All he would have to have done is pick up a copy of "Flying for Dummies" and he would have been good to go.
No, border security isn't a national security issue.
Thank God these people are generally idiots. I hasten to recall how Mohammad Atta, in his defining moment, came within minutes of missing his flight... And then there's Moussaoui attempt to learn how to fly planes but not land them...
Of course. I meant to say AFTER he's been drained of all information via Industrial Strength Cattle Prods to tender areas.
He needs a one-way ticket to Gitmo. STAT.
That can't be right. An illegal alien connected to what appears to be terrorist related activities? (sarc)
The Prudent elected officials would stop allowing students into the country that are between 18 and 40 and of middle eastern descent.
Foreign exchange students do not collect flight uniforms, and pose as pilots. Use stolen social security numbers and behave in this manner.
When we wake up, we might save this country. We used to be concerned about the majority of the population, now we are only concerned about not discriminating against middle eastern men who are between 18 to 40 and pose a threat against us. Those men are protected under our laws. No sense.
Extract information first, then....
this reminds me of what my father said if he was a judge and guys like the Shoe Bomber came into his court. After the testimony, my father would signal the court guard to come over, he would wisper in their ear "Give him the #1" and accused would be escorted from the courtroom never to be heard from or seen again.
This guy needs the #1 treatment.
Very few training manuals cover ONLY how to take off.
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