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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Would-Be American Jihadists Held in Pakistan

Five young men from Virginia were arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of trying to connect with jihadist groups there. According to a Pakistani newspaper and The Investigative Project on Terrorism, the five are named Ahmed Abdullah, Waqar Khan, Eman Hassan, Ramy Zamzam and Yasir (last name unknown).

The five were arrested just a couple weeks after leaving the U.S., at the home of Khalid Farooqi, a member of Jaish-e-Muhammad, according to the Pakistani paper. JEM is a jihadist group focused mainly on Kashmir. It's also connected to Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which has attracted American Jihadists in the past, and both groups are suspected of playing a role in the murder of Daniel Pearl by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

One of the group left behind a video which appeared to be expressing jihadist sentiments, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which held a press conference today to say it was assisting the investigation. In light of recent threats against American Muslim organizations by an Al Qaeda-linked forum, it will be interesting to see how the jihadists react to CAIR's collaborative role with law enforcement in this case.

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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