Tuesday, February 2, 2010

About that "Jihad Isn't Terrorism" Thing: 5 U.S. Nationals Sweating It Out in Pakistan

Early in January I reported about these five young Muslim men, ages 19 to 25, who left their homes and families in the Washington, DC area and headed east, aiming to help Taliban militants in Pakistan "battle U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan and die as martyrs," according to the Pakistani police who captured them after they were turned in by suspicious locals. Back home, their families had already discovered the farewell video they left behind "showing scenes of war and casualties and saying Muslims must be defended." In Pakistan, the militants that the group managed to contact reportedly didn't want anything to do with them because they lacked trusted references. There also was a language barrier: none of the group was able to communicate in fluent Urdu.

Soon after their capture, and before they had been charged, Egyptian-American Ray Zamzam, 22 (bottom row, right), boasted, "We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism."

Now, from PTI via Jihad Watch, comes word that the five have been charged, and that their charge
sheets allege that they wanted to target important installations in Pakistan, to fight in Afghanistan, and to embrace martyrdom.

You can't always get what you want. These young men sought martyrdom, but they're getting jail. And they don't like it. The story they are sticking to is that they never committed any crime and never had any intention of committing any crime. They've also managed to claim that they have been "subjected to torture by the FBI and the Pakistani police." They've appealed to the media for help.

The identities attached to the mugshots above are: Pakistani Americans Umer Farooq and Waqar Hussain; Ethiopian Americans Aman Yamar and Ahmed Abdullah Mimi; and Egyptian American Ramy Zamzam.
Related post: "We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism"

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