Zamzam made a video quoting Koran verses. Authorities are baffled as to what could have radicalized him! “N.Va. men allegedly tried to join jihadists: Group e-mailed extremists but was rejected, Pakistan says,” by Jerry Markon and Shaiq Hussain for the Washington Post, December 11 (thanks to Benedict):
Five men from Northern Virginia who were arrested Tuesday in Pakistan traveled abroad hoping to work with jihadist groups and battle U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Pakistani officials said Thursday.
The men contacted extremist organizations, including two with links to al-Qaeda, and proudly told their Pakistani interrogators, “We are here for jihad,” said Usman Anwar, the local Pakistani police chief whose officers interrogated the men, all Muslims from the Alexandria area.
Anwar said police recovered jihadist literature, laptop computers and maps of parts of Pakistan when the men were arrested near Lahore. The maps included areas where the Taliban train. The men first made contact with the two extremist organizations by e-mail in August, officials said, but the groups apparently rejected their overtures because they couldn’t find people to vouch for them….
The revelations from Pakistan and the mixed signals from U.S. officials add to the intrigue over why five young men, with no apparent history of terrorist ties or activity — men described by those who know them as devout but not radicalized Muslims — went overseas without telling their families and became immersed in a complex international terrorism probe.
Their families and spiritual advisers say the men offered no hints that this was coming. “Their parents are saying, we had no idea. The youth director is saying, we had no idea. The mosque is saying, we had no idea,” said Ashraf Nubani, an attorney for the ICNA Center, a small, dilapidated mosque in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County where the men met in a youth group and some of them worshiped. “There are two things,” Nubani said. “Either they never did these things . . . or they kept this from everyone.”
The men, who range in age from 19 to 25, were identified by Pakistani officials and sources close to the case as Umar Chaudhry, Waqar Khan, Ahmad A. Minni, Aman Hassan Yemer and Ramy Zamzam. Chaudhry’s father, Khalid, was also arrested in Pakistan and was being questioned, authorities said. The young men all are U.S. citizens, and some were born in the United States.
A Howard dental student
Several sources with direct knowledge of the investigation said that Zamzam, a dental student at Howard University who did well in school and was involved in a much-praised project to raise money to build mosques, is the man in a video the men left behind. Law enforcement officials said the video had jihadist overtones, and a prominent Muslim leader described it as a farewell statement.
The video quotes Koranic verses, cites conflicts between Western and Muslim nations, and shows wartime footage….