Tuesday, January 05, 2010

'We're Just Here for the Jihad'

Looks as though the five American Muslims who went to Pakistan to join Al Qaeda and got themselves arrested are denyig they're terrorists. From the AP:

Americans detained in Pakistan defend 'jihad' plans

SARGODHA, Pakistan (AP) — Five Americans detained in Pakistan told a court Monday they intended to cross the border into Afghanistan to wage jihad against Western forces but denied any links to al-Qaeda or plans to carry out terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

The admission could be a prelude to possible U.S. conspiracy charges but might also draw sympathy from an increasingly anti-American Pakistani public. Such feelings have complicated U.S. efforts to persuade Pakistan to do more to crack down on militants carrying out cross-border attacks on coalition troops in Afghanistan.

"We are not terrorists," one of the five men, Ramy Zamzam, told The Associated Press as he entered the courtroom in the eastern Pakistani city of Sargodha, where they were arrested in December.

"We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism," said Zamzam, a 22-year-old Egyptian American who was a dental student at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Jihad has several different meanings in Islam, but Zamzam seemed to be referring to the duty to fight against foreign forces viewed as occupying a Muslim country.

These guys can say jihad isn’t terrorism, but they can’t say it isn’t treason. They admit they were there to fight against “Western forces,” which includes American fighters.

I don’t see where US officials have shown the least inclination to try these guys as traitors.

FBI agents have questioned some of the men and are working to see if there is enough evidence to charge any of them with conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization, officials have said. Another possible U.S. charge — and one that could be more difficult to bring — would be conspiracy to maim or kill people overseas.

America’s treason statute says this: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason.”

Yes, treason is a difficult charge to prove, or so we keep being told. But when you’ve got Americans who traveled to a war zone with the express purpose—which they brag of—to make war on US forces, isn’t there a reasonable basis to at least consider the charge?

Do you get the feeling when you hear things like this that an awful lot of our options are being ruled out by government officials before they even know what’s going on? E.g., the decision to treat Umar Farouk as a criminal defendant, when there was no need to rush that decision?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where is the commentary on the Dearborn High class of 2011's t-shirt? What a disgrace that is, confirms every stereotype about today's Dearborn.