TAMPA – Behind bars in a South Carolina jail, it’s unlikely 21-year-old Youssef Megahed and 24-year-old Ahmed Muhammed know how much media attention their case is getting…

The FBI says they’re in the process of analyzing information gathered from the many interviews, record checks, and searches they’ve conducted over the past couple of weeks.

They also said in the statement that “there is the possibility that the publicly reported allegations involving the students may be proven to be false.”

When we asked the local FBI office what that meant, they told us they’re not exonerating or implicating either of the two men.

“We’re asking folks not to make leaps of information in making connections that may not be there. Let the facts developed through the investigation dictate the conclusion at the end,” the statement read.

Those helping Megahed and Muhammed’s families navigate the media minefield say they’re not surprised the FBI is urging caution, because it’s the same thing they’ve been preaching all along.

“There’s a lot of hate, a lot of rush to judgment, just because these kids are middle easterners and they attend USF, which had problems in the past — that there’s some sort of conspiracy and connections,” says Ahmed Bedier, spokesperson for the Council on American Islamic Relations. “Let the evidence speak for itself, the evidence doesn’t lie.”


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