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Video: Detained students sought terror contacts via YouTube

  1. Closed captioning of: Detained students sought terror contacts via YouTube

    >> laden or his deputy. also in pakistan tonight, five american students are now under arrest. the question is, what were they doing there? pakistani authorities say they tried to meet up with terror groups there, but were turned away. u.s. investigators also now believe at least some of them were up to no good and may have actually intended to wage a kind of holy war on american troops in afghanistan. our justice correspondent pete williams has been following this. he's in our washington newsroom again tonight. pete, good evening.

    >> reporter: brian, these five young men aroused the suspicions of their families when they abruptly left the u.s. two weeks ago for pakistan . it appears they were considered suspicious by the terror groups they apparently tried to link up with. the five students, all u.s. citizens and close friends, were arrested in eastern pakistan wednesday at this house owned by the uncle of one of the men. a regional police chief says after questioning them and learning of a video one of them made before leaving, he's convinced they came to join with terror groups.

    >> they were here for jihad. they left families back there. we support that they were here for some bad activities.

    >> reporter: pakistani authorities say through youtube, the students began exchanging e-mails with someone in pakistan who offered to connect them with militants. officials say when the men tried to join up with two separate terror groups in eastern pakistan , they were turned away, considered suspicious because they didn't know the language, have no training and had no real terror contacts. u.s. authorities say the men attended the same suburban washington d.c. mosque and one of them, ramy zamzam, a howard university dental student appears to be the instigator. his younger brother defended him. the arrests come the same week authorities charged a chicago man with helping to plan last year's deadly attacks in mumbai, india, and a month after a u.s. army doctor fired at his doctors on fellow soldiers in ft. hood. muslim groups say they must do something to stop the widespread videos that paint a wrong view of islam.

    >> unfortunately many young people are getting much of their information from the internet and a lot of that leads in the direction of extremist religious views.

    >> reporter: u.s. officials believe some of the students by the time they got to pakistan were beginning to get cold feet . one official described them to nbc news as, quote, jokers.

    >> pete williams in washington.

    >>> we have health news in

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