Friends and others in the Muslim community said Yousef Megahed and Ahmed Mohamed were arrested because of their race and faith.
Deputies in Berkeley County, South Carolina, denied their background factored into their arrest for carrying what police claim are explosive devices.
“They were stopped because they were speeding,” Lt. Vince Lombard of the Berkley County police said.
Police then found what they claim to be explosives and explosive devices in the trunk of their car.
“Had they been two white kids nobody would be asking any questions,” Ahmed Bedier, Executive Director of the Counsel For Islamic American Relations (CAIR), said.
CAIR said they heard from Megahed’s family after he was arrested Saturday night.
Jassim Aldeen, President of USF’s Muslim Student Association, said Megahed was nothing like he’s being depicted.
“This has been very hard for us,” Aldeen said. “Yousef is a very friendly, very kind person. Whenever you see him he’s always smiling.”
The twenty-one-year-old Megahed is not the type to plan anything terrorist related, Aldeen added.
Jassim Aldeen, president of the USF Muslim Student Association, said Megahed would never be involved in terrorist activity.