Sunday, May 16, 2010

Latest Jihadi Legal Defense: We Take It All Back

Look at the smiles on the faces of three of the young men in shackles who were picked up in Pakistan after being reported for asking around for the nearest terrorist camp. When this photo was taken, in December of 2009 or early January of 2010, it was good times heading for Madrassa U for these five wanna-be terrorists from the DC area: Pakistani Americans Umer Farooq and Waqar Hussain; Ethiopian Americans Aman Yamar and Ahmed Abdullah Mimi; and Egyptian American Ramy Zamzam, all under the age of 26.

During Thanksgiving break, the group had jetted away to Pakistan, leaving behind a "goodbye" video "showing scenes of war and casualties and saying Muslims must be defended." Their worried parents soon enlisted the aid of the FBI in getting their sons back. Too late. When the men asked to be directed to the nearest terrorist camp but didn't have the correct "references" and didn't even speak the preferred language (Urdu), locals turned them in to the Pakistani police, whom Ramy Zamzam (smiling prisoner second from the right) assured there was nothing to worry about: "We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism."

Unimpressed, Pakistani authorities wanted to know why guys from a suburb of Alexandria were traipsing around Pakistan with a map of the Chashma Barrage [shown],  a reservoir complex located near nuclear power facilities.

After a few weeks of eating a culturally correct diet and experiencing local customs in a high security Pakistani prison, the youths were throwing Help-Us-We're-Being-Tortured notes out the window of the bus transporting them to their hearings. Pakistani authorities charged Umer, Waqar, Aman, Ahmed, and Ramy with attempting to (a) target important installations in Pakistan, (b) fight in Afghanistan, and (c) embrace martyrdom.

The five now can't figure out why anyone would confuse them with jihadists. In fact, they claim, their "noble" intentions "in traveling secretly to Pakistan" were motivated by a desire to help Muslim orphans in Afghanistan, mixed in with a desire for some just plain "fun." A little too late, Aman Yamar (the doubtful looking prisoner second from the left) has come to the conclusion that "It doesn't make any sense that I would leave my family, friends, education and comfortable, happy life to live in a small cave."

It seems that embracing martyrdom isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Hat tip: Jihad Watch.

Related Posts:


  1. I recall doing a lot of reading about Islam and jihad in the first year after 9/11. I recall reading that most Muslim governments had no problem getting captured jihadis to talk. They had no compunction with taking the prisoners' mothers, sisters, daughters and torturing them until the prisoners gave up the info they wanted. Very uncivilized.
    But I think I live in a country that has become too 'civilized.' We have a president, AG and head of homeland security who, 9 years into a series of attacks on our country, are still too far above the fray to even know the attacks are under way.
    I feel a little sorry for these kids. They thought they were part of the jehadi world but the jehadis won't have them. And you have to wonder if they will ever be totally comfortable in the West. But the might have many years to think about it and sort it out.

  2. This is not a "big" story, but I think it is important one that should get more coverage to give young American jihadists a window into the reality that the United States is not quite the Great Satan they imagine it to be. Our country is, after all, an environment in which they can have the education and comfortable, happy life that these young men now wish they had never left.

    I have made the decision to strongly resist my natural inclination to feel sorry for these idiots. Yeah, they are cooling their heels (or worse) in a Pakistani prison. But looking at their situation from another perspective, their imprisonment has saved them from committing the horrible crimes they were headed for when they took off on their "lark." (Something for which their families should be grateful.) If they had been a little more savvy, they might have connected with the jihadists that they sought, and the price paid by their intended victims would have been far greater than that currently being paid by these young men. How many American soldiers might they have deprived of life or limb if they had succeeded in joining jihadists in Afghanistan, as they tried to do? Or how many Americans back home might they have killed if they became Pakistani Taliban agents with American passports and language abilities?

    Whenever I think of my loved ones in danger from nutcases such as these, I close my heart to any compassion for these young men and hope that they never see the West again.