The Associated Press Friday, September 16, 2005; 9:13 PM
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A university student from Egypt was ordered held without bond after prosecutors said they found a pilot's uniform, chart of Memphis International Airport and a DVD titled "How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act" in his apartment.
The FBI is investigating whether Mahmoud Maawad, 29, had any connection to terrorists. He is awaiting trial on charges of wire fraud and fraudulent use of a Social Security number.
Maawad, who is in the United States illegally, told the judge during a hearing Thursday that he is studying science and economics at the University of Memphis.
"My school is everything. I stay in this country for seven years; I stay for the school," he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Parker said Thursday that the airport-related items were found during a Sept. 9 search.
"The specific facts and circumstances are scary," Parker said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Thomas Anderson ruled that Maawad be held without bond.
"It is hard for the court to understand why he has a large concentration of those (aviation) items, and nothing else to indicate Mr. Maawad plans to stay in the community," Anderson said.
Maawad had ordered $3,000 in aviation materials, including DVDs titled "Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings," "Airplane Talk," "Mental Math for Pilots" and "Mastering GPS Flying," FBI agent Thad Gulczynski testified.
The company reported Maawad to authorities when he didn't pay for $2,500 of merchandise it had delivered, Gulczynski said.
"Man is in fact nailed down - like Christ on the Cross - to a grid of paradoxes . . . he balances between the torment of not knowing his mission and the joy of carrying it out, between nothingness and meaningfulness.