The five young northern Virginia Muslims arrested in Pakistan for trying to join jihadist groups offer an intriguing example of role reversal.
Instead of jihad terrorists training in the Middle East to come to the United States, a la Muhammad Atta and co., this group started out in the U.S. and went over there.
Nor are they the only examples of America's brisk new export trade in jihadists -- there are also the Somalis who have been streaming home from Minneapolis to join the jihad in their homeland.
Both Somalia and Pakistan have so many jihadis that they have no need to import more, but in both countries right now jihad is a growth industry.
Among the many lingering questions about this case is that of how these five young men fell in with jihad groups in the first place. The local Muslim community professed anguish and puzzlement about how it could have happened. Ashraf Nubani, an attorney for the mosque the five attended, said of their relatives and fellow worshippers: "There's shock and disbelief in these families and in this mosque." Mahdi Bray of the Falls Church-based Muslim American Society, sounded a plaintive note: "We want to know: What did we miss? We saw these kids every day. In hindsight, what could we have done?"
The five frequented an Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) mosque in Alexandria, Virginia, where the youth leader, Mustafa Maryam, insisted: "Our group never talked about politics."
Essan Talawi, an imam at the mosque, said that "the teachings of this mosque are the Koran, moderation, tolerance and peaceful interaction with our neighbors and other faiths."
They would have us believe that these young men turned to violent jihad at the same time and spontaneously. But there is every reason to think otherwise.
Talawi may have had in mind a very different idea of "moderation, tolerance and peaceful interaction" from the one that generally prevails in the U.S.
According to Steven Emerson's Investigative Project, at ICNA's Annual Conference in 2001, ICNA president Zulfiqar Ali Shah led the crowd in a chant of "our way, our way, is jihad, jihad."...
With thanks to JihadWatch