The five missing D.C.-area students detained in Pakistan went there to be trained for jihad, Pakistani police say. The New York Times reports that the students were turned away from the first two extremist operations they approached and ultimately wanted to train where Afghan Taliban fighters are based.
Pakistani authorities who arrested the men found maps of the region serving as a Taliban as well as "two major towns in the North-West Frontier Province that serve as the gateway to the tribal areas and North Waziristan, the police said."
The Times reports the group communicated with terrorists linked to Al Qaeda through YouTube posts before leaving the U.S. nearly two weeks ago.
They were arrested in a home belonging to one of the missing men's uncle, who is affiliated with the Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorist group. The father of Umar Farooq, one of the students, reportedly was arrested, too. The Times cites local Police Chief Usman Anwar:
"The five men bonded together in the jihadi cause, watching jihadi video clips on You Tube that showed attacks by the Taliban on allied forces in Afghanistan, he said. The group also maintained a common e-mail address, Mr. Anwar said. Employing a technique widely used among militants, they left their comments in the 'draft' box of the e-mail address so that they could all easily read the comments."
It remains unclear what will happen to the men next. They have not been charged with a crime. See the Times story here.