US Botany Professor Detained in Cairo Airport with Cache of Weapons

by Liz Behler 
Posted May 14th 2010 01:48 PMUpdated May 17th 2010 11:06 AM



Terminal 1, Cairo Airport; Wikimedia Commons

An Egyptian-American man was detained at Cairo International Airport earlier this week, when customs officials found a cache of weapons including two 9 mm handguns, 250 rounds of ammunition, two swords, 5 daggers and 6 knives in his checked luggage.

Mohammed Ibrahim, a professor of botany at a university in the United States, was detained Tuesday night after he had arrived on an Egypt Air flight originating at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Officials reportedly checked Ibrahim's luggage after they saw him "behaving nervously" as he waited to pass through customs. The weapons were found hidden in metal boxes and secret compartments throughout the luggage, an Egyptian official told the AFP on condition of anonymity.

American officials have said that there was no security lapse. Packing weapons in checked luggage is legal in the United States if properly declared to the airline, however passengers traveling abroad are required by US law to verify the rules in practice at their destination.

"Transporting firearms within the US in checked baggage is permitted if properly declared to the airline," the TSA said in a statement. "Many other countries have different laws that address transportation and possession of firearms. We recommend passengers traveling internationally check with the authorities at their destination about their requirements."

Ibrahim failed to declare the two handguns, according to the TSA.

The TSA searches checked luggage for explosives, but not firearms, which are out of reach to passengers during the flight and pose no in-flight security risk. The TSA notifies the proper airlines if any guns or ammunition are improperly packed.

Egyptian prosecutors have confirmed that Ibrahim was transferred to a state security prosecutor for further investigation.
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The places where these ammunition's were found clearly suggests wrong intentions of this person. If not then why did he not declare it to the airlines as the rules say.

May 24 2010 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hey its not the weapons that he was carrying on the airline thats an issue!! The issue is that he went into a country where weapon, hand guns, are prohibited!! Being american doesnt give him or any other person immunity to their laws!!The sooner we get that understood the less we will be treated like arrogant loud mouthed fools. And the sooner we respect their laws (whether we agree with them or not) the safer we will be. Im sure if one of them came here with a suitcase (hecked n ofcourse) full of nukes..we would have the army mobilised and them sent to gitmo!!

May 16 2010 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


May 16 2010 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Every gun nut on the web has added their 2 cents into this discussion, including mall shooting scenarios.

May 16 2010 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Old man Tom

Gun Control= Proper hold, proper sight picture,three holes in the ten ring at two hundred fifty yards.

May 16 2010 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dale Kendall

I used to carry a weapon with me when I traveled. Even if you have a permit which I did; You cannot carry it loaded in a car. What are you supposed to do if assaulted; Ask the perpetrator to give you time to load it. The whole thing is crazy. I traveled with a rifle when I went to Alaska to learn to hunt. The bolt was supposed to be transported in your checked luggage separate from the rifle and I traveled with the rifle as a carry on. Nobody was threatoned I just carried a rifle with no bolt. All this security is a farse. I think we need to be more realistic in our approach.

May 16 2010 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hi Ken

When I get out of prison, I will find Nicole's killer.

May 16 2010 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think we shold go back to the old West days...everyone was packing heat...out in the open, so all could see...and most times no one screwed with you..unless thay wanted to be just the crooks and cops have weapons...and that is not an even playing field..

May 16 2010 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


So called home invasions, this is something that goes on in our state all the time!! Several times a week drop houses are being found. There will be 25 plus illegals picked up at each of these drop houses, along with the coyotes that brought them over the border. The police have raided several houses; where they have found all types of guns, ammunition; drugs. One of these raids just happened to take place about a mile from where I live. So please don't criticize jeanaz8 discredit her comment about home invasions!! We live in the state of AZ and we know exactly what is going on here. You have no clue what is going on here!!!

May 16 2010 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Debbie's comment

That, however, has nothing to do with this story. And, frankly, I am not interested in what you are saying in the least.

May 16 2010 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Return our Mummies - Now!

May 16 2010 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply