US suspect in Pakistan defends 'jihad' plans
2010 01 04

By Asif Shahzad | Springfield News-Sun

One of five Americans detained in Pakistan on Monday acknowledged their aim to go to Afghanistan to wage holy war against Western forces but defended their plans as justified under Islam.

However, he denied any links to al-Qaida or plans tocarry out terrorist attacks in Pakistan.


Detained American Muslims look to media as they leave after appear in an anti terrorist court in Sargodha, Pakistan, Monday, Jan. 4, 2010. The defense lawyer for five Americans detained in Pakistan has denied that his clients planned to carry out terrorist attacks inside or outside the country. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Monday was the first time the young Muslims from the Washington, D.C., area have addressed a court after being arrested in early December in the eastern Pakistani city of Sargodha. The case has spurred fears that Westerners are traveling to Pakistan to join militant groups. Pakistani police have said they plan to seek life sentences for the men under the country's anti-terrorism law.

"We are not terrorists," one of the men, Ramy Zamzam, told The Associated Press as he entered a courtroom in Sargodha on Monday.

"We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism," he said, referring to the word for Islamic holy war.

Zamzam did not elaborate, but some Muslims believe it is their duty to wage jihad against foreign forces they view as occupying a Muslim country.

The men, aged 19 to 25, denied they had ties with al-Qaida or other militant groups during a court appearance Monday in Sargodha, said their attorney, Ameer Abdullah Rokri.

"They told the court that they did not have any plan to carry out any terrorist act inside or outside Pakistan," said Rokri. "They said that they only intended to travel to Afghanistan to help their Muslim brothers who are in trouble, who are bleeding and who are being victimized by Western forces."

The Americans arrived amid tight security. About a dozen police cars escorted the prison van inside the court premises as officers manned the rooftops of surrounding buildings. The men wore handcuffs as they walked into the courthouse for their hearing.

The court remanded the men to prison for 14 days to give police time to prepare their case, said Rokri.

"We have told the court that police have completed their investigation and have enough evidence against the five suspects to try them under anti-terrorism law," said police officer Matiullah Shahani.

Police have not said what the group's intended target was, but authorities say the men had a map of Chashma Barrage — a complex located near nuclear power facilities that includes a water reservoir and other structures. It lies in the populous province of Punjab, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Islamabad.
Pakistan has a nuclear weapons arsenal, but also nuclear power plants for civilian purposes.

The court ordered the release of one of the suspects' fathers, Khalid Farooq, because of a lack of evidence that he had committed any crime, said police officer Tahir Shirazai.

It was unclear if Farooq, also a U.S. citizen, was still in custody since authorities said they had released him more than two weeks ago.
Pakistani police and government officials have made a series of escalating and, at times, seemingly contradictory allegations about the men's intentions, while U.S. officials have been far more cautious. The U.S. is also looking at charging the men — Umar Farooq, Waqar Khan, Ahmed Minni, Aman Hassan Yemer and Ramy Zamzam.

Officials in both countries have said they expect the men to eventually be deported back to the United States, though charging them in Pakistan could delay that process.

The U.S. Embassy has declined to comment on the potential charges the men face in Pakistan.

Article from: SpringfieldNewsSun.com



Related Articles
Major Hasan Of Fort Hood: A Patsy In A Drill Gone Live?
KSM: The Ultimate Patsy "Confesses"
The Lone Conmen
Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis and Al Qaeda
Tarpley: Detroit Jet Terrorist Attack Was Staged
Foiled Terrorist Bombing in Detroit: An Excuse to Expand the Bogus War On Terror
Claims emerge of British terrorists in Mumbai
Innocent photographer or terrorist?


Latest News from our Front Page

US Silent on Psychologists Role in CIA’s Tortures: Doctors
2014-12-20 21:53
Physicians for Human Rights had not received any response from the US Federal Commission to their call to investigate the role of health professionals in CIA’s torture program, Deputy Director of the organization told Sputnik. December 19 (Sputnik) — US government has not responded to calls to prosecute doctors, who participated in CIA torture program, the Deputy Director of Communications for ...
Ziolebrities: Simon Cowell donates £100,000 to Israeli soldiers to please pregnant jewish girlfriend Lauren Silverman
2014-12-20 21:00
Cowell, 54, is also planning a secret trip to Israel soon as he embraces the Jewish faith of Silverman, 36 Gala: Billionaire Haim Saban with Cowell Simon Cowell has publicly donated nearly £100,000 in support of the Israeli army. The X Factor boss pledged the cash to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at a US fund-raiser in Beverly Hills. The lavish gala ...
Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak
2014-12-20 2:17
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack. Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job. Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times
2014-12-20 2:13
Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled. Via The Hollywood Reporter: After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move. “The ...
The Bankster International
2014-12-20 1:55
Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to ...
More News »