American has had traitors in every war we've been in - this one is no different. - S.L.
The Americans being held in Pakistan on possible terrorism-related charges were arrested in a house linked to militants in an eastern Pakistani city; Sargodha is home to a major air force base and is a known pocket of militant insurgency. Pakistani police reports suggest they intended to get terrorist training there and join with the Taliban to fight against American troops in Afghanistan.
American Muslims arrested by Sargodha Police Department on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009. From left to right: Waqar Hussain Khan, Ramy Zamzam, Umar Farooq, Ahmad Minni, Aman Yemer. (AP Photo/Sargodha Police Department)
Waqar Hussain Khan, 22, was born in Virginia.
Ramy Zamzam, 22, was studying at Howard University to be a dentist — he maintained a 4.0 grade-point average.
Umar Farooq, an accounting student at George Mason University, was born in Sargodha.
Ahmed Minni, 20, was born in Virginia.
Aman Yemer, at 18 the youngest of the five, was born in California.
The young men grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. They had been friends for years. Some were in college now. Some had jobs. Some had Facebook pages filled with friends.
I know this town well. You couldn't find a more all-American city; Alexandria is closely related to the founding of our country. I have many friends throughout Fairfax County who I often visit during military-related business trips to the DC area. They are loyal readers and often contribute to STORMBRINGER -S.L.
Their families insist they never revealed a hint of extremism. Families and friends portray them as innocent, decent citizens. Neighbors used terms like "good guy" and "friendly" to describe the young men.
Facebook page disappeared from the Web:
Zamzam's bewildered Facebook friends set up a special page asking for help finding the missing students and praying for their safe return. Postings on the page earlier in the week said the Facebook friends were trying to raise awareness about the five men who "have been missing for some time now." By Friday 11 December, that Facebook page disappeared from the Web after the students turned up arrested in Pakistan on possible terrorist-related charges.
Not Trusted by the Taliban:
The group appeared to communicate online, and Pakistani investigators say they visited web sites that showed attacks against the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Those internet connections may have led them to Pakistan, where they reportedly met with representatives from the al-Qaida-linked Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group in the southeastern city of Hyderabad and from a related group, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, in Lahore. Pakistani officials say the men were also in contact with a Taliban recruiter.
But their efforts to join the jihadi fight were rebuffed, because they were not trusted.
Shock and Disbelief at Alexandria Mosque:
In northern Virginia, family friends, including fellow worshippers at the Islamic Circle of North America's small chapter mosque — a converted single-family home tucked into their residential neighborhood — can't believe what they're hearing about the students.
"They had jobs, they were in school. They were normal kids," said the families' lawyer, Nina Ginsberg.
Friends in Shock, Plead for Families' Privacy:
"I know they're very sad," said Dr. Essam Tellawi, a volunteer at the mosque who fills in sometimes as the imam. "It's very hard to hear about your son is missing."
Analysis: We Are Under Attack.
We're seeing it over and over again; there's a common thread going on here: young men of Middle-Eastern origin, above average intelligence, born and/or raised in the West of immigrant families; in a case of confused loyalties decide to go to war against their own country:
Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan.
The 7/7 London Bombings of 2005
Glasgow Airport Terror Attack, June 2007.
This is a part of the phenomenon I have coined Self-Induced Jihad Syndrome.
- Sean Linnane