An Egyptian man charged with using a fake Social Security number to enroll at a Memphis college was "either planning or participating in a potential terrorist event," prosecutors said in federal court records.
Mahmoud Maawad, 29, has been held without bond since his arrest in September while he was a student at the University of Memphis.
He drew the attention of federal authorities when a search of his apartment turned up DVDs on pilot training and charts on the layout of the Memphis airport. One of the DVDs was titled "How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act."
Authorities refuse to talk about their ongoing investigation of Maawad, but in a court filing Feb. 16, prosecutors said a computer seized from his apartment showed he was "linking to web sites that are associated with Ansar Al-Islam, a radical Sunni Muslim organization in Iraq."
Traces of Internet activity on the computer also showed searches for information on how guns and bombs can be smuggled past airport security, the filing said.
Authorities say Maawad came to the United States on a visitor's visa and stayed on illegally after it expired.