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Did ‘Jihadi cool’ lure 5 Americans to Pakistan?

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Dec 21, 2009
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
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    U.S. Muslims accused of traveling overseas to receive militant training

    [​IMG]AP file
    Police released these images of the Americans arrested in Pakistan. From left: Waqir Hussain Khan, Ramys Zamzam, Umar Farooq, Ahmad Abdulminni, Aman Hasan Yamer.

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - There was a book left in a Pakistani hotel room where five young men from Virginia were arrested, suspected of trying to join Taliban forces. Called "The Pact," that book tells the true story of three boys from a rough neighborhood and broken homes who bond and eventually help one another through medical and dental school."This is a story about the power of friendship. Of joining forces and beating the odds," reads one snippet on the back of the book.
    It is also a story with a happy ending. But the saga of these five young men from Virginia — friends who grew up together and attended the same small neighborhood mosque — has been anything but that, quickly turning from one of promise to despair for many of the family members and friends they left behind.
    There is sadness in their tight-knit Muslim community, and anger. These were young men who grew up with modest means, still living in small homes and apartments with their families, but who, in at least some cases, seemed as though they were on track to achieve good things.
    Some of the young men, who range in age from late teens to early 20s, have been described by friends and neighbors as polite, quiet, even kind. They went to public schools. Some were athletes.
    Right up to the time they disappeared a few weeks ago, they regularly attended prayer services at the mosque. Then two or three of them would head to a nearby gym five days a week, "like clockwork," a gym manager says.
    ‘Geek’
    At least two of them were in college. Umar Farooq — whose family ran a computer business and whose home has a small nameplate on it that says "geek" — was a business major at George Mason University. Another of the five, the soft-spoken but charismatic Ramy Zamzam, had just started dental school at Howard University. This past week, he would've taken his first round of final exams.
    Instead, he and his friends were sitting in jail cells in Pakistan, not yet charged but suspected of trying to join militants who are fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
    "We had such hope for them," says Mustafa Abu Maryam, the volunteer youth coordinator at the Islamic Circle of North America mosque, a one-story brick house tucked in a residential street in Alexandria, a northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C.
    While the mosque is traditional, with a curtain dividing men and women during prayers, for instance, he and other leaders say they have always rejected extremism.
    But that may not matter in an age when just about anyone on the Internet can connect with terrorists and where even young Muslims from moderate families can get caught up in what some call "Jihadi cool."
    'Muslim under siege'
    These are "seemingly well-adjusted kids who are forming a subculture of their own — namely, the Muslim under siege," says Saeed Khan, a specialist in Islam who teaches at Wayne State University in Michigan.
    It is a scenario that has played out in Britain more than once. And some suspect it happened here, too, since one of the young men left a farewell video that mixed war scenes and calls to fight for Muslims across the world.
    In this instance, Khan thinks the young men's close proximity to the nation's capital also could have influenced them.
    "They feel a certain helplessness that, despite this proximity, they are disenfranchised from helping end the perceived violence against fellow Muslims thousands of miles away," he says. But the saga of these five young men from Virginia — friends who grew up together and attended the same small neighborhood mosque — has been anything but that, quickly turning from one of promise to despair for many of the family members and friends they left behind.
    There is sadness in their tight-knit Muslim community, and anger. These were young men who grew up with modest means, still living in small homes and apartments with their families, but who, in at least some cases, seemed as though they were on track to achieve good things.
    Some of the young men, who range in age from late teens to early 20s, have been described by friends and neighbors as polite, quiet, even kind. They went to public schools. Some were athletes.
    Right up to the time they disappeared a few weeks ago, they regularly attended prayer services at the mosque. Then two or three of them would head to a nearby gym five days a week, "like clockwork," a gym manager says.
    ‘Geek’
    At least two of them were in college. Umar Farooq — whose family ran a computer business and whose home has a small nameplate on it that says "geek" — was a business major at George Mason University. Another of the five, the soft-spoken but charismatic Ramy Zamzam, had just started dental school at Howard University. This past week, he would've taken his first round of final exams.
    Instead, he and his friends were sitting in jail cells in Pakistan, not yet charged but suspected of trying to join militants who are fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
    "We had such hope for them," says Mustafa Abu Maryam, the volunteer youth coordinator at the Islamic Circle of North America mosque, a one-story brick house tucked in a residential street in Alexandria, a northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C.
    While the mosque is traditional, with a curtain dividing men and women during prayers, for instance, he and other leaders say they have always rejected extremism.
    But that may not matter in an age when just about anyone on the Internet can connect with terrorists and where even young Muslims from moderate families can get caught up in what some call "Jihadi cool."
    'Muslim under siege'
    These are "seemingly well-adjusted kids who are forming a subculture of their own — namely, the Muslim under siege," says Saeed Khan, a specialist in Islam who teaches at Wayne State University in Michigan.
    It is a scenario that has played out in Britain more than once. And some suspect it happened here, too, since one of the young men left a farewell video that mixed war scenes and calls to fight for Muslims across the world.
    In this instance, Khan thinks the young men's close proximity to the nation's capital also could have influenced them.
    "They feel a certain helplessness that, despite this proximity, they are disenfranchised from helping end the perceived violence against fellow Muslims thousands of miles away," he says. But the saga of these five young men from Virginia — friends who grew up together and attended the same small neighborhood mosque — has been anything but that, quickly turning from one of promise to despair for many of the family members and friends they left behind.
    There is sadness in their tight-knit Muslim community, and anger. These were young men who grew up with modest means, still living in small homes and apartments with their families, but who, in at least some cases, seemed as though they were on track to achieve good things.
    Some of the young men, who range in age from late teens to early 20s, have been described by friends and neighbors as polite, quiet, even kind. They went to public schools. Some were athletes.
    Right up to the time they disappeared a few weeks ago, they regularly attended prayer services at the mosque. Then two or three of them would head to a nearby gym five days a week, "like clockwork," a gym manager says.
    ‘Geek’
    At least two of them were in college. Umar Farooq — whose family ran a computer business and whose home has a small nameplate on it that says "geek" — was a business major at George Mason University. Another of the five, the soft-spoken but charismatic Ramy Zamzam, had just started dental school at Howard University. This past week, he would've taken his first round of final exams.
    Instead, he and his friends were sitting in jail cells in Pakistan, not yet charged but suspected of trying to join militants who are fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
    "We had such hope for them," says Mustafa Abu Maryam, the volunteer youth coordinator at the Islamic Circle of North America mosque, a one-story brick house tucked in a residential street in Alexandria, a northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C.
    While the mosque is traditional, with a curtain dividing men and women during prayers, for instance, he and other leaders say they have always rejected extremism.
    But that may not matter in an age when just about anyone on the Internet can connect with terrorists and where even young Muslims from moderate families can get caught up in what some call "Jihadi cool."
    'Muslim under siege'
    These are "seemingly well-adjusted kids who are forming a subculture of their own — namely, the Muslim under siege," says Saeed Khan, a specialist in Islam who teaches at Wayne State University in Michigan.
    It is a scenario that has played out in Britain more than once. And some suspect it happened here, too, since one of the young men left a farewell video that mixed war scenes and calls to fight for Muslims across the world.
    In this instance, Khan thinks the young men's close proximity to the nation's capital also could have influenced them.
    "They feel a certain helplessness that, despite this proximity, they are disenfranchised from helping end the perceived violence against fellow Muslims thousands of miles away," he says.With the exception of one young man's father, who was questioned and released by Pakistani authorities, the families have remained in seclusion, though they are fully cooperating with authorities. Their seclusion has, however, meant that details about some of the young men have been sketchy at best.
    Very little is known, for instance, about Aman Hassan Yemer, a young man of Ethiopian descent who, at age 18, is the youngest of the five.
    Suspicious activities
    Meanwhile, for at least one other, Waqar Khan, signs of trouble-making had begun to emerge.
    Between December 2005 and March 2006, Khan, now 22, was arrested for trespassing, twice at Mount Vernon High, his former school, and once at an unspecified location. Prosecutors dropped two of the charges, and Khan pleaded no contest to the third misdemeanor charge and received a small fine and a year of unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to stay away from the high school.
    Farooq's mother also told The New York Times that Khan, whose former employers included United Parcel Service, had brought $25,000 with him to Pakistan, significant money for someone in his circumstances.
    Still, those details offer little explanation or solace to family and friends.
    CONTINUED : 'Wannabe thugs who are real-world ******'
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  2. M

    Mtoto wa Kishua JF-Expert Member

    #2
    Dec 21, 2009
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    "Some of the young men, who range in age from late teens to early 20s, have been described by friends and neighbors as polite, quiet, even kind"

    Kwani siku zote hawa sereal killers na high school shooters wanakuje , hi hivyo hivyo polite, quiet and kind
     
  3. B

    Bull JF-Expert Member

    #3
    Dec 21, 2009
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    Only stupid individual will blame those young boys, Is American have right to kill pakistanis? there are tounsand of solders, prones artilleries etc, are killing inocent men, women, old and children there in Pakistani.

    what wrong with these guys to cross border and protect theire peoples? only ignorant will bond the american propaganders. shame on them!!!!!!
     
  4. M

    Mtoto wa Kishua JF-Expert Member

    #4
    Dec 21, 2009
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
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    Hehehehehe that im that stupid n Ignorant person . say hi to ur cuzn Bin ladin
     
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