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Update on Five Young Men Arrested in Pakistan

December 10, 2009

The FBI confirmed the arrest of five American citizens in the Sargodha region of Pakistan. New information adds one additional man, bringing the total to six men in Pakistani custody. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Subira Farouk, the mother of one of the young men revealed that her son was in the country to get married, not to commit terror. Farouk’s son attended George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. and was arrested along with his father.

However, the deputy superintendent of police in Sargodha, Tahir Gujjar is convinced that the men came to engage in terrorism. He said they made attempts to connect with terror organizations via Facebook and YouTube. He believes the young men wished to become martyrs and pursue jihad.

Upon arrest, officials retrieved laptops and maps outlining specific regions of Pakistan known for terrorist activity.

CNN has also reported that a farewell type video was left behind by Ramy Zamzam, the Howard University dental student. Although the video has not been made public, those who have viewed it described it as emphasizing the importance of defending Muslims and contained violent images. In addition, the ethnic backgrounds of the five individuals have been identified as three Pakistani-Americans, one Ethiopian-American, one Egyptian-American, and one Eritrean-American. They were previously thought to be three Pakistani, one Egyptian, and one Yemeni. All reside in the northern Virginia area and are believed to have attended the same mosque.

En route to accepting his Nobel Peace Prize, U.S. President Barack Obama declined to make a premature statement on the arrests, saying, “There will undoubtedly be a series of investigations surrounding these events, so I’d prefer not to comment on them at this point.”

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