Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Trunk Explosives Update: Comedian/Officer Tries Out Muslim Material

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 12:41 PM

The court-proceedings for two Egyptian-born men arrested last year because of alleged explosives found in their trunk is under way this week as defense attorneys try to cast doubt on the officers reasoning for searching the car.

A Berkeley County sheriff's deputy acknowledged Tuesday that he used the terms "terrorist" and "Taliban" to describe a pair of Egyptian college students just before a search of their car turned up explosive materials in the trunk.

If that wasn't the first question among the press pole the morning after, it was the second. With only vague information about what was actually in the trunk, we all wanted to know what made the officer want to check the car.

What seems difficult in this case is separating the circumstances regarding why they searched the trunk from what they found in the trunk. The officers on-scene comments make that a little easier.

The officer was caught on his patrol car video joking with a colleague about how the students "probably got a bomb strapped to them" and saying, "I think they’re part of the damn Taliban."

This would have likely had more sway if officers found a tire iron and jumper cables in the trunk instead of what prosecutors refer to as explosives (the defense claims they were harmless fireworks). The harmlessness is difficult to swallow with seperate charges for one of the men regarding a YouTube video he made providing instructions on how to make a homemade bomb.

My guess is that the co-pilot may get off, but the budding filmmaker is in for some jail time.

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Greg Hambrick
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