The arrests renewed concerns that American Muslim men with ethnic ties to Pakistan and other Muslim countries were increasingly at the center of terrorist plots aimed against the United States. Earlier this week, an American citizen of Pakistani background, David Coleman Headley, was charged in Chicago with helping plot the 2008 rampage in Mumbai, India, that left more than 160 people dead, including American tourists staying at a luxury hotel. Also charged was a Canadian born in Pakistan, Tahawwur Rana.(NY Times)
The police identified the others arrested in Sargodha as Ramy Zamzam, 22, a dental student of Egyptian background at Howard University, who was described as a sort of “ringleader”; Waqar Khan, of Pakistani background, who was reported to have family connections in Karachi; Ahmad A. Mini, 20, born in Eritirea; and Aman Hassan Yemer, 18, a native Ethiopian.
“They are U.S. nationals,” Chief Anwar said. “They have valid U.S. passports and valid Pakistani visas.”
The five men bonded together in the jihadi cause, watching jihadist video clips on You Tube that showed attacks by the Taliban on allied forces in Afghanistan, he said. The group also maintained a common e-mail address, Chief Anwar said. Employing a technique widely used among militants, they left their comments in the “draft” box of the e-mail address so that they could all easily read the comments.
They got caught pretty quickly because their parents raised alarms and notified the FBI about the disappearance of their sons.