BALTIMORE: Farooque Ahmed, the Pakistani-born Virginia man accused of plotting to bomb Washington-area subway stations, lived in middle-class suburban comfort with his wife and their infant son. They held steady jobs in northern Virginia’s technology industry and mostly kept to themselves.
They got along with neighbours, sometimes even cooking saffron rice and chicken for them. Ahmed enjoyed fishing, and his English-born wife, Sahar Mirza-Ahmed, was part of a group of “Hip Muslim Moms.” Both were on social-networking sites.
Yet Ahmed had a burning desire to join the global jihad, according to federal authorities. Beyond his alleged terror plot, which involved scouting Metro stations that he believed al-Qaeda would bomb, authorities said he wanted to travel to Afghanistan to kill American soldiers.
Ahmed, 34, emigrated around 1993 to the United States and later became a citizen, according to an FBI affidavit. He lived in Staten Island, NY, and earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2003 from the College of Staten Island before he moved to Virginia….
He worshipped at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center, a mosque with several branches in northern Virginia, coming to prayers occasionally by himself, said Robert Marro, a member of the board of trustees. The ADAMS Center, as it’s known, issued a statement Wednesday expressing outrage at Ahmed’s alleged plot. It also urged people to alert authorities if they know about Ahmed’s activities or see any suspicious behaviour.
“He comes in just for prayer services and then leaves right after,” Marro said.
Imam Mohamed Magid said cases like this make Muslims worry about how they are perceived by the larger community.
“In northern Virginia, people are very understanding,” Magid said. “They know that the act of one person like this does not represent Islam and Muslims.”…
He had money in the bank, according to the affidavit, which said he spoke about sending $10,000 to foreign terrorists — in $1,000 increments to avoid arousing suspicion. But when he made an initial appearance in federal court, he said he could not afford a lawyer….
Mirza-Ahmed wasn’t the most outgoing, but she was well-liked, said Bani, who was “shocked and shaken” by the allegations.
“They’re a regular, everyday family,” Bani said. “That’s why it’s very shocking to hear this.”
It was unclear where Ahmed worshipped. Imams at two large mosques in the area said they had no records of Ahmed and they were quick to condemn his alleged actions.
Of course. They almost never know these guys — the ADAMS Center above admitting some acquaintance with Ahmed is unusual. But how is it unclear where he worshipped if he was known to have attended the ADAMS Center?
In any case, in general it’s funny how these self-proclaimed devout Muslims never seem to have darkened the door of a mosque. Or could it be, just possibly, that their arrest provokes amnesia down at the local House of Peace?