How lawyers plan to defend five Americans held in Pakistan terrorist plot
Lawyers defending five Americans charged with hatching a Pakistan terrorist plot say that police planted the evidence. The five men, they say, were in Pakistan to attend a wedding.
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"We take seriously all reports of abuse and torture and did raise those reports with officials from the government of Pakistan. As we do in all such cases where prisoners report abuse, we requested immediate consular access and visited the prisoners," Ms. Howard said.Skip to next paragraph
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The men left behind a video, which reportedly contains scenes of American atrocities against Muslims and talks of "jihad" — a word often interpreted as holy war but in Islam it can also mean peaceful struggle or striving for self-betterment.
Jihad means community service
Amal Khalifa, the mother of Zamzam, said in an interview in recent days in Sargodha where she had traveled to see her son, that he had lost weight. "He looked like a skeleton," she said. She claimed the men wanted to go to Afghanistan to do charitable work.
"The video has nothing to do with terrorism. When they said jihad, they meant 'community service, ' " Ms. Khalifa said, adding that her son had done social work for years, such as helping the homeless while he studied at Howard University to become a dentist.
"If these boys wanted to do something bad, they could have done it in the United States," said Khalifa. "He's just a normal Muslim guy."
According to Pakistani police, the men had maps of the local Air Force base in Sargodha, as well as a nuclear power plant and water barrage at Chashma, in the northwest of the country.
The men have pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include wanting to "wage war against neighboring countries" – Afghanistan; criminal conspiracy to commit terrorist activities inside Pakistan, and "planning to commit acts of depredation on the territory of Afghanistan and the United States of America."
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