Pakistani officials appear to close to bringing terrorism charges against the five D.C.-area Muslim men arrested there last month. The men were in a Pakistani courtroom Monday, the Washington Post reports, where officials indicated a police report with recommended charges could be filed Tuesday.
Those charges could bring life prison sentences. U.S. officials, meanwhile, also are investigating the nature of the men's secretive trip and whether it violated American law. Previous reports indicate the men wanted to make their way to Afghanistan to join the jihad against U.S. troops and left behind a farewell video.
In court Monday, Howard University dental student Ramy Zamzam, considered the group's leader, reportedly said "We are not terrorists. We are jihadists, and jihad is not terrorism."
Attorney Amir Abdullah Rokhri used more altruistic language in describing the men. "They were here to help the helpless Muslims. That's why they wanted to go to Afghanistan, not for terrorism."
Formal charges could be announced at a hearing January 18.