Adnan Mirza framed by FBI


After the farcical trial of Dr Aafia Siddique in a US court, another Pakistani has fallen victim to the US through yet another travesty of justice.
This time it is a student, Adnan Mirza, who has been jailed for 15 years ostensibly for conspiring to provide material support to the Taliban and illegal gun possession.
However, the reality is totally different and shows how the FBI deliberately traps young Muslims through fabrication of evidence.
Some local FBI agents secured their careers in the war on terror, but this young man has lost five precious years as a student and the only breadwinner for his mother and three younger brothers.
In jail for nearly five years on flimsy evidence – audio tapes recorded by undercover FBI agents during a hiking trip talking to a young Muslim student about his views on Americas Iraq and Afghan wars – this Pakistani young mans case, someone who is well-known in Houstons poor districts for helping the needy on the streets on Christmas and Sundays, is a clear illustration of how unscrupulous local US law enforcement agents used the war on terror to promote their careers and create unnecessary panic among Americans by arresting and humiliating Pakistanis on trumped up charges.
Despite a weak case and clear signs of a setup by local FBI officers, Adnan was kept in a federal prison for five years.
Tremendous pressure was put on him to accept the charges and spend a few years in jail.
He knew hed be deported if he accepted charges and his record would be tarnished for life for something he did not do.
Unfortunately, Pakistani diplomats in the US also played along with FBI and pressured Adnan to accept charges, which he refused.
Finally, the FBI managed to secure a favourable court verdict, and on 22 Oct.
2010, a judge in Houston sentenced Adnan to 15 years in prison.
The young man who used to spend his spare time feeding the needy at Houston intersections, and who was celebrated by local newspapers and television networks for upholding the Christmas spirit has thus been abandoned by his own country.
But fair-minded and good Americans continue to support him.
Renowned TV personality and political commentator Amy Goodman and DemocracyNow.
org have defended Adnan and highlighted his case.
Adnans story and how he was clearly framed should serve as a warning to other Pakistani students who are either already in the US or planning to go there.
Adnan Babar Mirza, born in Kuwait on January 6, 1977 to Pakistani parents Ghazala Mirza and Babar Mirza and finished his early schooling in Kuwait City after which, in 1995 he moved to a college in Cyprus.
Later he transferred credit to the University of Atlanta and received a US visa on August 15, 2001.
On August 23, he proceeded to the US and after arrival, he transferred credit to Houston Community College and moved in with his uncle and aunt, Mr and Mrs Syed Sarfaraz Qazi, and their four children.
He used to offer voluntary services to the Islamic Community of North America (ICNA) and WHYIslam.
One of his regular practices was to collect food from various restaurants on Saturday nights and to store it for the purpose of distributing it to the less privileged people on Sunday mornings.
Despite his involvement in social services he continued his education as a fulltime student.
At ICNA/WHYIslam, Houston, he became good friends with two American Muslims: Kobie Williams and Jim Coates.
Adnan had been very fond of outdoor camping and long drives for which he used to make trips almost every 5-6 months.
He had been to many Young Muslim camps which are annually and legitimately organised in the US.
He had been very regular in outdoor camping long before the so-called 2005 investigation started.
The FBI recruited Jim Coates as an undercover informant/agent.
He was in charge of many WHYIslam activities, including an HPD course on Islam.
Some of these courses were offered to government agencies to sensitise them on dealing with American and non-American Muslims.
Then Jim started to organise camping trips and brought hunting equipment to the group.
Initially they just went for some fishing trips and then later they started going to local shooting ranges for hunting practice.
Jim also introduced another person to the group, American Malik Mohammad, who later turned out to be an FBI informant.
Adnan, Kobie, Jim and Malik all became very close and they used to spend much time together camping on weekends and spent evenings at local coffee shops having friendly discussions on all sorts of Islamic/current events topics.
Jim started bringing up the topic of Jihad very frequently during these discussions (the FBI agent acknowledged that the paid informant, who most have identified as Jim, was given instructions to discuss only certain topics and to record them).
During their discussions Jim repeatedly mentioned, as planned, that he wanted to go fight with the mujahideen and would tell the group that he saw dreams that he was fighting alongside the mujahideen.
During all these trips and meetings, they took photos.
During their last camping trip, Malik, who has a military background, offered to give them specific military training, in case they might need it for their defence.
Adnan owned a licensed hunting gun.
Jim brought along with him unlicensed guns.
He made sure Adnan was photographed holding these guns, which became the evidence against him.
Jim Coates disappeared for a few months.
Adnan was called to visit the local FBI office in Houston, where six officers interrogated him.
He was even made to waive his right to an attorney during the questioning.
They asked him questions about what he thought of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he honestly told them about his personal views on the war.
He voluntarily turned in his licensed hunting gun, which he had and even gave his passport to them.
The officers told him strictly not to talk to anyone about this case and to cooperate and accept the charges and they promised to give him a very short time in prison.
Adnan has been in jail since then.
To compound pressure on his family, the FBI also arrested Adnans younger cousin, Shiraz Qazi.
Shiraz was sentenced in jail for 10 months for possession of an unlicensed weapon, in the same case as Adnans.
Immediately after his release, Shiraz was picked up by immigration officials and was jailed for another two and a half years.
Once released, he was able to celebrate the first birthday of his 4-year-old son.
His wife and son are US citizens.


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