Ramy Zamzam, Waqar Hassan Khan, Ahmed Abdullah Mini, Aman Hassan Yemer, and Umer Farooq Arrested in Pakistan? UPDATES


Update 5: CNN says they failed to join some Islamic schools:

“They went to the madrassa [a Muslim school] of Jaish-e-Mohammad where they informed them about their desire for jihad. However, the management of the madrassa refused to keep them, and advised them to go to Jamat-ud-Dawa Lahore. Interestingly, the Jamat also refused to keep them as they could not provide a surety. Thus, they came along with their friend Umar Farooq to Sargodha,” the report said.


Update 4: New York Times confirms arrests?

SARGODHA, Pakistan — Five young Muslim American men arrested here Wednesday were on their way to the heart of the Taliban sanctuary in Pakistan’s tribal areas with the intention of training to fight against American troops in Afghanistan, Pakistani police authorities said Thursday.

The men, a tight circle of friends in their late teens and their 20s from the Washington suburbs, had been in contact through YouTube with a Pakistani militant with links to Al Qaeda before arriving in Pakistan on Nov. 30, said the Pakistani officials, who had firsthand knowledge of the case.


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.


Update 3: The owners of the Facebook group dedicated to the brothers closed it down saying: “We have decided with careful consideration to close the group out of respect for the family members of our brothers.”

Update 2: Message from CAIR below.

Update 1: Apparently, the New York Times (via AP) is reporting that a farewell video was made by the brothers.

There was a lot of news and rumors spreading on Facebook of 5 brothers in the Washington DC area gone missing the past few days. Looks like they were in Pakistan and may have been arrested.

According to the Pakistani News:

SARGODHA: An Anti Organized-crime Cell raided a house situated in Aziz Bhatti Town of Sargodha and arrested five foreign nationals.

DPO Sargodha Dr. Usman Anwar told Geo News that the police raided the house of Khalid Farooqi, an activist of banned outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad, and arrested five foreign nationals from there.

The arrested foreigners include 2 Yemenis, 1 Egyptian, 1 Swedish and 1 US-born Pakistani.

The DPO told that these people had been living in Sargodha since Nov 30 and it was quite a possibility that they were engaged in acts of terrorism.

Initial investigations have identified them as Ahmed Abdullah, Waqar Hassan Khan, Eman Hassan, Yasir and Rami Zamzam.

Security agencies have initiated further investigations in this regard.

According to the AP:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistani police say they have detained five U.S. citizens in a raid on a house in the east of the country.
Police officer Tahir Gujjar declined to say why the men were arrested Wednesday in the town of Sargodha.
He says three of the men are Americans of Pakistani descent, one is of Egyptian descent and the other is of Yemeni heritage.
He says they are being interrogated by senior police officers.
A U.S. Embassy spokesman said officials there were aware of the reported arrests, but had no more information.

Of course it’s on FOX news.

More sources:
Another local DC news article.

I actually knew one of the brothers and the others I’ve seen around. Shocking and strange, but then again the Pakistani government is just obeying the command of their owners in America.

Message from CAIR:

CAIR: Muslim Community Assists FBI in Finding 5 Missing Youth

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/9/09) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a news conference later today in Washington, D.C., at which it will outline how the Muslim community assisted the FBI in resolving the case of five Muslim young men from Virginia who left the country recently under mysterious circumstances.

WHAT: CAIR News Conference on Case of 5 Missing Youth
WHEN: Wednesday, December 9, 4 p.m. (Eastern)
WHERE: CAIR’s Capitol Hill Headquarters, 453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com

“The Muslim community has taken the lead in bringing this case to the attention of law enforcement authorities and will offer ongoing cooperation with the FBI as the investigation moves forward,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

The parents of the missing young people and local Muslim leaders recently informed CAIR of the disappearances. CAIR immediately informed the FBI and, along with the families and Muslim community leaders, has been working to assist the agency as the investigation moved forward. The families were also assisted in obtaining legal representation to make sure their constitutional rights were protected.

At today’s news conference, CAIR officials and other Muslim leaders will outline the sequence of events in the case, urge anyone aware of the missing group’s activities to come forward and warn against the dangers of adopting or promoting extremist religious views.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

47 Replies to “Ramy Zamzam, Waqar Hassan Khan, Ahmed Abdullah Mini, Aman Hassan Yemer, and Umer Farooq Arrested in Pakistan? UPDATES”

  1. so..these guys just disappeared and didn’t tell their families where they were going? the parents didn’t call the police rather they went to an imam and called cair?

    Some of this official story doesn’t make sense, obviously we are missing some key information.

  2. @Zookeeper – It’s very hard to get the facts since different sources say different things. The only fact that was true is that they were missing.

  3. So you know these people? Then why did you not see any warning signs that could have prevented them from leaving their family and getting caught up in horrible stuff?

  4. @ PakistaniMD – Wait, I said I know them? I’ve seen them around and I know one of them, but enough to see “signs”. I just know they were brothers in the DC area that you would see at typical Islamic events.

  5. Sorry if I sounded harsh, but the news is horrible. If not you, then why did no one else know, not even their parents? This is odd, and I hope that we are all guided to the correct path.

  6. lol, they get caught in a terrorist’s house in pakistan and they probably are innocent? time to call a spade a spade muzzies; maybe then people wouldn’t think of you all as so different and deluded

  7. I don’t like the way this is looking for these brothers.

    No one goes to Pakistan without telling their parents. Even if they were going for spiritual reasons like a Tablighi Jamaat gathering, they would have let their parents know about it.

    Inshallah, I hope there’s some really good reason for them being there. But with all the crap happening in Pakistan these days (another horrible bombing today), I can’t see any plausible excuse.

    6 reasons why I’m worried as an American Muslim.

  8. I saw Ramy a few times. Maa sha’a Allaah his akhlaq was something that could impress anyone. May Allah free him and defeat his enemies.

  9. SubhanAllah, these guys are good brothers with fine behaviors to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Please let us not speculate about things we have less knowledge of. None of the articles that are about them mentions anything they have said themselves about jihad or anything of that sort. Nor, have they done anything tangible to hurt anyone – knowing them, I am sure that is not something they are capable of carrying out. I’m also sure anyone who have seen these guys only knows goodness in them. Let us give them the benefit of doubt – until we get further information on this matter.
    And as for their parents- we can all be certain that they weren’t aware of their whereabouts, thus the missing reports they filled. So, there is no point in pointing fingers towards them.

    May Allah Azza wa Jal protect these brothers…

  10. I have dozens of mutual friends with Ramy. 99% of these stories are media hypes that are later proven false. I’m confident that this will be too. I’m so sorry for him and his family.

  11. I’m a reporter with AP looking for people who know the young men or their families to speak to their character and behavior. Please feel free to contact me at phess@ap.org. Thanks – Pam

  12. Am i the only being proud of these young muslims?
    I mean he left his studies to help (if it’s true) his brothers in pakitstan.
    These people are heroes.
    And stop listening to cair seriously, they alot off wierd stuff contradicting Islam, and they support the americans killing muslims around the world.

    American muslims need some help religously, i mean it seems like you are in the wrong side….

  13. I know Ramy and all I have to say in regards to his akhlaaq and tarbiyah is MASHALLAAH!

    If we have our own muslims speculating and throwing around accusations like the very first post, I dont expect any better from the general public.

    It is quite sad that instead of offering our support and making dua for the imprisoned, we are only belittling and bashing them.

    May Allaha (swt) make it easy for the brothers and facilitate their affairs. Aameen ya Rabb.

  14. Bint, please get in touch. We think we know why he went over and are trying to confirm it. You may be able to help.

  15. SubhanAllah, Ramy organized the big MSA Jeopardy Tournament last year and my team competed against his in this year’s tournament. He was an extremely nice and humble guy, so this came as an extreme shock…

  16. I think some of us take “innocent until proven guilty” a bit too far. It is a legal principle that places the burden on the prosecutor to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    It doesn’t mean that the average person ought to assume, as a factual matter, that the accused is innocent.

    In cases where the facts seem to indicate guilt, I think its better to say something like “I’m not entirely sure, and I really hope these guys are innocent, but the facts aren’t looking too good for these guys right now.” That then allows you to go on with things like condemning the action.

    Coming from Toronto, I know that there are still people in denial about the “Toronto 18,” even though some of them pled guilty. Sad. Let’s face it, sometimes we have problems, and confused kids. Rather than be in denial, we should be taking proactive steps to prevent fellow Muslims from falling for these confused violent ideologies.

    On an unrelated note: does anyone know why CAIR prefers “American Muslims” to “Muslim Americans”? The latter more appropriately expresses a mindset of being part of America, which I think is something CAIR would want to do.

  17. The so called mujahideen are terrorists and outlaws especially the ones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia.

  18. student, pleading guilty doesn’t always indicate that somebody committed a crime. Legally it may mean that, but oftentimes pleading guilty is part of a bargain, or can be used for other reasons other than to tell people you committed a crime. Just as “innocent til proven guilty” has different implications in the legal and real worlds, so does pleading guilty.

  19. May Allah bring ease to the brother’s affairs.

    From the islamic perspective they had pure intentions, from the perspective of the constitution…who cares.

  20. ^yes, the intention was pure but they hurt their parents and angered them. And that does not fly with Allah.

  21. Part of perks of being Muslim means you have people standing up for you to make sure you not oppressed. The kuffar haven’t even charged these young men with a crime and already some of you are calling for the death penalty. You muslims are bigger oppressors than the so non believers.

    What is wrong with you?

  22. That’s unfortunate, inshaAllah these brothers are healthy and well.

    Now this can turn to any story, so lets not jump to conclusions.


  23. I’m a reporter for The Washington Post. We are trying to take a deep breath and a step back and write about what we KNOW about these five young men, about their lives here in the Washington area, about life as a Muslim here in the area and in America. Please email me: schulteb@washpost.com. I’m also on twitter: @BrigidSchulte

  24. Why are they being called terrorists? The were not planning on blowing on innocent civilians in America or Pakistan. Time Magazine is reporting that they were going to Afghanistan to fight against the terrorists.

  25. What these guys did is 100% correct; America is fighting the MUSLIMS a.k.a. terrorists. How dumb do you have to be to think otherwise? The Prophet (PBUH) said that if a person does not take part in Jihad has died on a branch of hypocrisy. You do your 5 prayers, zakah, fasting, hajj, but when your brothers get killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Iraq, you call the people who actually go defend them crazy and terrorist? You guys have been fooled by the American propaganda and Media. I thought Americans are dumb because they believe what they see on TV, but Muslims can’t even recognize their own brothers. You all should be ashamed of yourself. You will have to answer on Judgment Day for your actions and the fact that you didn’t go and research the topic for yourself, instead of blindly following kafirs. Allah tells us in the Quran if a fasik (a bad Muslim) comes to us with news to go and investigate it, today kafirs say terrorist and we say terrorist. We are warned about fasik, a bad Muslim, but a Muslim indeed, what about a kafir? Wake up Muslims there are no terrorist just a war between you and the invaders. A woman went to hellfire for letting a cat die because she didn’t feed it or let it go out and eat. What about the many Muslim children who are being killed by the kafir soldiers. Aren’t they worth more than a cat? Or do you love the dunya to the point that you will ignore the truth?

  26. @thetruth – Apparently you haven’t been or talked to people in Iraq or Afghanistan. Muslims are killing Muslims over there. Muslims that have been in Iraq or Afghanistan will tell you that Muslims are killing Muslims more than non-Muslims killing Muslims.

  27. @MR
    Muslims are not killing Muslims brother. This is extremely against Islam, and this cannot be the case. However Muslims are killing “terrorist” and “insurgents”. This is a tactic of the enemies of Allah, to divide and conquer. We witnessed this before. It is not a tactic of the Muslim to go to the enemies and lie to them, start fitnah, manipulate them, and brainwash them. No, Muslims want to be a cause for none Muslims to enter Islam. So if you see their tactics, you see their message, fasad + fasad = ? They only want money and expansion and they will not hesitate to tell you, but they tell you many other things to get you mixed up and start supporting them. Now a second tactic is the simple name calling. On the American media we hear them saying “5 insurgents were killed”, “6 terrorist were killed”. What they actually mean is “2 women, 3 children were killed”, or “4 children, a man, and a women were killed”. And these are all Muslims. We have an education and degrees; however we don’t have beneficial knowledge, we need to study Islam, which is why when we are told something we don’t check it and we believe it right away. So if we have degrees and we believe what is said to us, what about the modest Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq[who have no degrees]? Muslims are killing Muslims under the assumption that they are terrorist and insurgents. And these “terrorist” defend themselves because they feel it is the correct Islam approach, believing that these Muslims that have been manipulated are no long Muslims due to the fact that they are helping the enemies of Allah. So in reality it is manipulated vs. Terrorist, but the truth is they are all Muslims and need to focus on the true enemies of Allah; the invaders that have no rights, or reasons to be there except to destroy Islam ultimately. [Making money & expanding are just bonuses]. But the truth is the truth; it always prevails on falsehood, no matter how long falsehood appears for. Laa ilaha Ila Allah. Muhammad Rasoolullah (peace be upon him).

  28. @thetruth – Are the members of the Afghan army or the Pakistani Army Muslims? Muslims have been killing Muslims for over a 1,000 years. Read the history of Islam. This is nothing new. Even the sahabah fought each other and killed each other. This is wrong, but to claim that Muslims are killing only the terrorists then that is just hypocrisy. Let’s be honest. Muslims are killing Muslims.

  29. @MR
    I see you didn’t get what I was trying to say. Muslims are not killing Muslims because they want to. It is instigated. As for the Sahab’s time it was a jew by the name of Abdullah ibn Saba, who claimed to be a Muslim that instigated the fight. When I said they are fighting terrorist, this is how it was instigated [by name calling]. You gotta go to the source, the Americans instigated it. And Muslims should not be killing terrorist because there are no terrorist, just Muslims. Like bush said either you are with the Americans or with the terrorist. No other choice. But the terrorist believe in the Quran and the Sunnah. Sounds Muslim to me. The Americans threw the Quran in the toilet ( like in Guantanamo) sounds like Kafir to me. So who are you with? That is all I’m saying. Who are you against? Al Walaa wal baraa. Walaa to Muslims Baraa from kafir.

  30. @thetruth – If it were two sides then you have a point, but there are way more than two sides to this. There are those who follow the Quran and Sunnah and are against America and against Al-Qaeda/Taliban. What do you say about them?

  31. That is hypocrisy right there. Because if we have the same source, Quran and Sunnah. Then we should not have any differences. If that is the case. However, there is no such group. The people who you described are the manipulated brothers by the Americans. There is no one else.

  32. Moreover, if we have slight difference of opinion, we should go to the specialists. For example, if we have a question about fiqh we should go to the people who study fiqh, likewise with hadith, we go to the people who study it, as well as quran. Now if we have a question about jihad who do we go to? the MUJAHDEEN. Mr. Mujahdheen ryder. this is how it has always been. Allah(SWT) tells us in the Quran if we don’t have the knowledge of something to go to the people that have the knowledge, the specialists.

  33. thetruth unless you are a 12 year old – as your intellectually deficient reasoning suggests – you need a specialist, a psychiatrist to be specific.

  34. @thetruth – There is only two sides anything else is hypocrisy? You are def. the very first person I have a ever met online that says this. Even the pro-AlQaeda/Taliban supporters agree with me on this. So I’m not really sure who you teacher is, but you may want to ask him some questions about this.

  35. @MR
    Yes, there is only 2 sides; the Muslims and the none Muslims. So whoever is actually going according to the Quran and Sunnah is with the Muslims, and whoever is not then they are with the none Muslims. Even if they claim they are with the Muslims. How many people have claimed they are Muslim but they are not? we only judge by whats apparent. Muslims should not be supporting kafirs against Muslims under any condition. If Muslims are fighting we have to try and end the fight between them, but as i said this is instigated by the Americans there. And if a Muslim is doing something wrong, you should never abandon him, you have to let them know and show them proof that what they are doing is not according to the Quran and the Sunnah. you should never bring a kafir to help you against a Muslim.

    So what other sides are there after this?

  36. @thetruth – I’m sorry, but I strongly disagree with you. I don’t have the capacity or time to continue this discussion. Ma’salaama.

  37. All of this talk of good Muslim, bad Muslim, real Muslim, fake Muslim is so telling. No wonder these young boys ( and numerous others)are confused and misled into doing destructive things. I am not going to give a judgement on whether are innocent or guilty. It is unfortunate that they are not in the US right now. I just wish someone who is a leader would stand up and say that ‘from this moment on, we abhor and condemn any act of violence perpetrated against innocent HUMANS. AND mean it.
    You are no better or worse than any other person, based on religious belief. Being a non-Muslim, how many times have I heard that Muslims lie to anybody who is not a Muslim, and feel it is just fine.

    Does this not tell the world where you are coming from?
    it is distressing to see the argument you fellow humans get into.

  38. Any update on these kids? I really don’t give a CRAP about all the religious BS in this…What I care about is the “kids” which is what they are from OUR COMMUNITY are lost without word here….

    They are still AMERICANS overseas needing our support. Not too many kids in this age group are WELL GROUNDED at this age anyway and likely easily Moved into “cult” type thinking.

    All must have been in this area as ALL look familiar except one. Please someone find out if they are at least OK as young US citizens imprisoned overseas.
    I’m sure they’ve discovered that it ain’t the “hood” by now.

    Caring Mother of Kids this Age NO MATTER what Religion

  39. Ramy is my son and if you do not know him you must ask poor, needy, homeless, orphans people in DC, VA, and MD to know that Ramy is a good youth help all kinds of people and he went to help people by money and medicine as he can because this goal of his life duty. This what happened but the media, and Pakistan police created false charges against them.

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