Pakistan Five northern Virginia men arrested in Pakistan indicated Monday that they plan to fight terrorism charges that Pakistani police are recommending by using a strategy seen in U.S. courtrooms: that they were preparing for jihad but not planning any terror attacks.
The men told a Pakistani court that they had neither sought nor established contact with extremist groups, and traveled to the region only “to help the helpless Muslims,” according to their Pakistani attorney. As they entered the courtroom, one of the men, Ramy Zamzam, told reporters: “We are not terrorists. We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism.”
No charges were filed during the hearing in Sargodha, but Pakistani police said their formal recommendation that the men be charged under anti-terrorism laws — and sentenced to life in prison — would be filed by today.