Saturday, December 12, 2009

American Jihadists called "wholesome-fun loving."

(CNN) -- Five Americans arrested this week in Pakistan were "wholesome," devout young men who participated in a youth program at a community mosque in suburban Virginia, representatives of the congregation said Friday.

"I have always known these kids as fun-loving, career-focused children that had a bright future for themselves," said Mustafa Abu Maryam, youth coordinator at the I.C.N.A. Center, an affiliate of the the Islamic Circle of North America, in Alexandria, Virginia. "As far as I know they were wholesome kids. Very goofy. You
know, talked about girls. Very wholesome."

Portraits of Ahmed Abdullah Minni, Umar Farooq, Aman Hassan Yemer, Waqar Hussain Khan, and Ramy Zamzamand -- whom police say were transferred Saturday from the small town where they were seized to a more secure location in Lahore -- are slowly emerging. A sixth man -- the father of one of the five -- also was arrested, police said.

Pakistani authorities described the men as college students who "were of the opinion that a jihad must be waged against the infidels for the atrocities committed by them against Muslims around the world," a report states.

Abu Maryam said members of the community are struggling to come to terms with news of their arrests in Pakistan amid suspicions they were plotting terror attacks and seeking a way to fight American troops abroad.

"I hope all of this is not true. I hope it is not what it seems," Abu Maryam said.
Representatives of the mosque -- a modest, one-story brick house on a residential street --expressed surprise over the arrests and described the community as a small, tight-knit, patriotic congregation.


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