Randall “Ismail” Royer, a lanky, fair-haired Washington activist, had just returned from Pakistan, where he had tried to lend his American PR savvy to a group of Muslim insurgents fighting in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. His friends were fascinated by his trip. So they gathered over chicken and rice one summer night in Northern Virginia and pressed him for details. Like Royer, the friends were middle-class Muslim men from the Washington suburbs. Three had been classmates at Prince George’s Community College. Two were immigrants launching high-tech careers. One was a popular local lecturer who was pursuing a scientific doctorate. “I’m a supporter of the Kashmiri independence movement,” Royer, 30, of Falls Church, said later in an interview, referring to the Lashkar-i-Taiba organization, which is fighting to end Indian control over much of Kashmir. “I’ve helped so many Muslim groups. I saw this group as not a terrorist group. I didn’t see this as inconsistent with being American.” Full Story
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