Adnan Mirza: Another US War on Terror Victim - by Stephen Lendman
Post-9/11, Mirza is one of legions of war on terror victims - framed, charged, indicted, tried and convicted on bogus terrorism related charges.
On October 22, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas headlined, "Pakistani Student Sentenced to prison for conspiring to support the Taliban and unlawful possession of firearms," saying:
Adnan Mirza was "convicted in May 2010 (on nine counts) following a jury trial....Senior US District Judge Ewing Werlein (imposed) the maximum applicable prison term for each" one, complying with prosecutors' request for terrorism enhancements, used when they claim a crime aimed to influence or coerce government policy. Mirza was also fined $1,000 for each count, $9,000 in total.
"An FBI (sting) resulted in (alleged) proof that Mirza and others intended to send funds to the Taliban and had engaged in weekend/training and practice sessions with firearms to prepare for 'jihad' on six different occasions beginning in May 2006 at a location on the north side of Houston."
On May 27, New York Times writer Daniel Cadis headlined, "Texas: Student Convicted of Aiding Taliban," giving Mirza one paragraph with no explanation on the FBI's sting, using two paid informants to entrap, its common way snare victims - innocent, yet bogusly convicted and imprisoned.
On the same date, MyHarlingen News.com headlined, "Jury Convicts Adnan Mirza of Conspiring to Support the Taliban and Unlawful Possession of Firearms," saying he's a Pakistani citizen, here on student visa to attend college in 2005 and 2006 when arrested and charged.
Born in Kuwait to Pakistani parents, he attended college in Cyprus. On student visa, in August 2001, he came to America, attended the University of Atlanta, then Houston Community College. Living with his aunt and uncle, he performed volunteer services for the Islamic Community of North America (ICNA) and WHYIslam.
Regularly, he collected food from local restaurants, distributed it on weekends to Houston's homeless and refugees, along with clothes and other non-perishables, continuing his education as a full-time student. Fond of camping, he regularly attended Young Muslim ones, what led to his entrapment and imprisonment. More on that below.
Arrested in November 2006, he was held without bond, remaining in custody until convicted and imprisoned. At the time, a leading Pakistani Urdu-language daily accused the FBI of paying informants to entrap him, Jim Coates and Malik Mohammad. On camping trips, they secretly taped conversations, photographed Mirza and others holding guns, after which prosecutors fabricated charges, unrelated to conspiracy to commit terrorism or other crime.
At Mirza's Masjid Lel-Farouq mosque, members expressed shock, one identified only as Mohamad saying "He's the kindest, sweetest person. He would not harm a fly." Another named Ali called him "a very decent person. Just because he has a beard and you like to go hunting doesn't mean that you are a terrorist."
Mirza's lawyer, David Adler, said his client expressed anger over US war crimes, explained that he collected funds for victims, small amounts sent to families, hospitals, women and children, not the Taliban or supportive groups. At trial, he called him a good student who regularly fed Houston's homeless, and worked with local police on a public access channel, explaining Islamic religion and culture to area viewers.
Interviewed on Democracy Now on October 21, Mirza explained his volunteer charity work, helping Houston's homeless and refugee population. Reacting to his conviction and sentence, he said his lawyer:
"did not put up a good defense. I mean, we were not - I mean, I did not spend a whole bunch of time with (him). So (the sentence) wasn't unexpected. But I still have the appeals process, and hopefully that will come through for me."
Events unfolded as follows. As explained above, Mirza and others regularly took camping trips, infiltrated in 2005 by two FBI informants, pretending to be Muslim friends. One brought guns for target practice. He later learned that his student visa prohibited even holding one. However, he admitted having a hunting license, saying he took hunting education instruction.