[Ppnews] Adnan Mirza framed by FBI

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 27 11:08:58 EDT 2010



Adnan Mirza framed by FBI

By Shireen M Mazari - October 25, 2010
http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/25-Oct-2010/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 America's Iraq and Afghan wars - this Pakistani young man's 
case, someone who is well-known in Houston's 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 he'd 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. Adnan's 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 Adnan's 
younger cousin, Shiraz Qazi. Shiraz was sentenced in jail for 10 
months for possession of an unlicensed weapon, in the same case as 
Adnan's. 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.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online//Politics/25-Oct-2010/Adnan-Mirza-framed-by-FBI 





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