Adnan Mirza




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.   



Case Facts – Briefly


  1. Adnan Babar Mirza , born in Kuwait on 6 Jan 1977 to Pakistani parents Ghazala Mirza and Babar Mirza 
  2. Finished his early schooling in Kuwait City and his high school in Karachi [Gulistan Shah Abdullatif Bhitai]
  3. In 1995, he moved to a college in Cyprus to continue his education
  4. Later he transferred credit to University of Atlanta and received a US visa on 15 August 2001. On 23 Aug. he proceeded to the US
  5. After arrival, he transferred credit to Houston Community College and moved in with the family of his real aunt & uncle Mr. and Mrs. Syed Sarfaraz Qazi and their four children.
  6.  He used to offer voluntary services to Islamic Community of North America (ICNA) and WHY Islam. One of his regular practices was to collect food from various restaurants on Saturday nights and to store it for the purpose of distributing to the less privilege people on Sunday mornings. In spite his involvement in social services he continued his education as any other fulltime student
  7.  At ICNA/WHYISLAM Houston, he became good friends with two American Muslims:  Kobie Williams and Jim Coates
  8. 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 organized. He had been very regular in outdoor camping long before this so-called 2005 investigation started
  9. 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 sensitize them on dealing with American and non-American Muslims
  10. Then Jim started to organize 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
  11. Adnan, Kobie, Jim and Malik all became very close and would spend much time together camping on weekends and would spend evenings at local coffee shops having friendly discussions on all sorts of Islamic/current events topics
  12. Jim would bring up the topic of Jihad very frequently during these discussions (the FBI agent acknowledged that the paid informant (we know it was Jim) was given instructions to discuss only certain topics and to record them). During their discussions Jim would repeatedly mention 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 times, they would take photos
  13. 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 defense
  14. Adnan owned a licensed hunting gun. Jim brought along with him unlicensed guns. He made sure Adnan is photographed holding these guns, which became the evidence against him
  15. 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 his licensed hunting gun, which he had and even gave his passport to them
  16. 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
  17. 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 something he did not do. Unfortunately, Pakistani diplomats in the US have also played along with FBI and pressured Adnan to accept charges, which he refused
  18. Finally, FBI managed to secure a favorable court verdict, and on 22 Oct. 2010, a judge in Houston sentenced Adnan to 15 years in prison
  19. 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 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 have defended Adnan and highlighted his case
  20. Adnan leaves behind three younger brothers and a mother. His father passed away in Kuwait in mid 1990s.


NOTE: To compound pressure in his family, FBI arrested Adnan’s younger cousin, Shiraz Qazi. Shiraz was sentenced in jail for 10 months for possession of 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.


THANK YOU: To Amy Goodman from, to countless good and kindhearted Americans for their support; to countless Pakistanis for their help and support; to Dr. Shireen Mazari from The Nation, to Ahmed Quraishi from, to the silent supporters involved in this cause.



To Contact Adnan Mirza


To contact Adnan Mirza, or to offer legal, moral or financial support to his family, or for media inquiries related to arranging interviews with Adnan or his family members to highlight his case, please email Irfan Mirza, his younger brother, at



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