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Is This the House of a Terrorist?

by ARLnow.com December 15, 2010 at 10:57 am 3,284 46 Comments

This is the house on 11th Street South in the Arlington View neighborhood where alleged “wannabe jihadist” Awais Younis lived with family members.

Younis, also known as Sundullah Ghizai and Mohhanme Khan, was arrested by the FBI last week and charged with threatening — via Facebook — to set off pipe bombs in Georgetown and on Metro trains.

Younis, graduated from Arlington’s Washington-Lee High School in 2004. A high school classmate and neighbor said the Afghanistan native was “real quiet.”

“He stayed to himself, kind of like an outsider,” LaRondre Gaskins told WUSA 9. “No friends but certain things that happened he was real weird about, like when 9-11 happened… he clapped about it in class.”

A family member, meanwhile, called the charges “bullsh-t.”

Younis, who is in his mid-20s, will undergo a court-ordered mental health evaluation. A court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 21.

All was quiet at Younis’ house this morning. There was little activity on the street, save an elderly woman taking items out of her SUV.

On the porch in front of the red brick home, Encyclopedia Britannicas were stacked haphazardly in a potato chip box. Down the side of the house, an Afghan rug was folded next to a Dell computer box, apparently waiting to be taken away as trash.

  • KalashniKEV

    I find the headline ridiculous, as well as the concept that Younis was a “wannabe” Jihadi.

    • Aaron

      Agreed. I appreciate the desire to put a local spin on this news story, but this doesn’t seem to strike the right tone. Working in actual operational counterterrorism must truly suck: if you stop someone from blowing up thousands of people, you’re evil for entrapping an innocent boy who didn’t even do anything, and if you let him proceed with his plot, everyone will ask “Why if you were tracking him in December did you incompetent bureaucrats let him carry out his scheme even after publicizing exactly what he was going to do on Facebook for crying out loud?”

      • KalashniKEV

        1) Posting pics of where his family lives = sleazy
        2) “House of Terrorist” headline – Should it have a minaret?
        3) “According to the complaint, one of Younis’ Facebook photos showed him in Afghanistan holding an AK-47 with his uncle in front of a tent loaded with explosives. The caption was “My family business.”

        If Younis is a “wannabe” then what magnitude of terror must he plan and execute before becoming a full blown Jihadi?


        • Unlike the TV live trucks that were outside the house with lights and cameras last night? I’m really surprised by this reaction.

          • KalashniKEV

            I take it back… if everyone else is doing it, it must be OK.

            (I will add that I don’t agree with the re-publication of Wikileaks Data either, even after analysis and digest- this is a Real War, and that’s just the way I feel)

          • imissTX

            This article succeeded via getting people to read and talk about it. That’s journalism.

        • el fat kid

          the address is hidden in the pics above, even tho the charging documents clearly list it and anyone w/ google maps can look it up. tho the google maps in this area is actually pretty screwy and you have to ‘walk’ down the street in streetview.

          ARLnow is being far more respectful while still covering a local interest piece than most outlets and i don’t see anything wrong w/ posting a couple pictures.

  • Do you really think its socially responsible to show where a family of an “alleged” criminal – especially that of a potentially terrorist nature – lives? You show the house number and give the address. If Younis is guilty I hope he is punished, but with recent anti-muslim crimes, I don’t think publishing his family’s home address is the best course of action.

  • Skeptical

    I am usually a fan of the ARLnow reporting priorities and style, but I can’t see what purpose is served by highlighting the dwelling place of this man’s family. I haven’t heard anyone implicate his family or their beliefs/politics, and regardless of what those might be, telling everyone (with photos) exactly where they live seems like bad judgment.

    • Unlike some outlets, we did not publish the exact address, which is in the public court documents for all to see. In fact, we blurred out the house number from the photos.

      The question of the young man’s upbringing and private life is absolutely relevant to the story. No one, however, is implicating the family.

      • Newt

        Its still really weak!

    • PikeHoo

      According to the court documents which are of public record, this is where he lives. His alleged threats to the public have very public consequences…which include spotlighting where HE lives. It just so happens that his family lives there too.

      If you were his neighbor, just like a sex offender, wouldn’t you want to know?

      • PikeHoo

        I have to agree with a lot of the posters though that the headline “Is This A House of Terrorist” is a little sensationalistic…maybe a little too Fox Newsy for my taste.

  • stephanie

    Labeling him a “wannabe” Jihadist may be ignorant, but it doesn’t sound terribly inaccurate based on the facts.

    And as far as showcasing where he lived, if it’s in court documents and public information, it’s fair game. It frightens me that someone with these hateful views lives so close to me, and it’s a reminder to stay ever vigilant.

    • KalashniKEV

      When what is essentially “thoughtcrime” (i.e. sympathetic beliefs) turns to organization, propagandizing/radicalization, training, planning, fundraising, recruiting, and eventually action/execution of terror, it ceases to be “wannabe.”

      The mere act of posting on Facebook alone- that you will carry out an act of terror- IS fomenting Terror, whether or not you ever reach the execution phase of your plan, or even intend to.

      • BoredHouseWife

        That’s why smart terrorists blend in. Now, let us all suspect those people.

  • Notahoo

    Can we all get back to the important stuff? Like what is up with the ad for the scary art clown thing I keep getting on this site? That’s where the real terror is – can we get a photo of the scary clown’s house?

  • MB

    Over the line.

    • jan


  • CadeTyler

    Yes. Bad play. You popped a picture of his family’s house under the headline “…House of a Terrorist”.

    What the hell? Is Glenn Beck guest editing today? What next? “Obama’s Birth Certificate Found in Location of Mythical Trader Joes”?

  • get a life Libs.

    Oh geeze, does every newspaper and blog in Arlington have to Liberal to be fair and good? You liberals are nutzo. Why in the world would we treat a terrorist with kind toughts and bad title. This guy can eat and I hope he does. You Liberals need to get a life.

    • mehoo

      Really deep thoughts, there, genius.

  • Arlwhenever

    I have to say the first thing I did after seeing the guy’s address on the criminal complaint was to go onto Google Maps and locate his house. And to be sure, the next time I’m in the neighborhood my curiosity will get the best of me — I’ll do a little drive by.

    Based on location alone, I would have expected, if anything, that this guy and his family would be compassionate about 911 victims. The abode is directly on the path of Flight 77 overlooking the Pentagon — his home probably shook to the foundation when the American Airlines jet screeched a couple hundred of feet above on September 11th 2001. While the proof is not in, it seems that the young Mr. Younis has been stewing with other thoughts in mind.

  • el fat kid

    Between all the crime and terrorism maybe south arlington should invite Khost to be a sister city.

    • CrystalMikey

      Ahhh…but he went to school in N. Arlington. 😉

      • el fat kid

        well, North Arlington can’t fix all the South’s problems.

  • Dude Where’s My Car

    No, no I think this is *brilliant* reporting. It should be the start of an investigative SERIES. ARLnow should go talk to that “elderly woman taking items out of her SUV” and find out exactly what so-called “items” were involved. Get her picture and her life story. That post can be called “Is This the Elderly Woman Neighbor of a Terrorist?” Then they can dig through the trash and find out exactly WHAT BRAND of potato chips were involved in the “haphazard” trashing of encyclopedia books. Call that one, “Is This the Favorite Potato Chip Brand of a Terrorist?” Start digging through their crap. We’re talking JOURNALISM GOLD MINE here, people.

    • Dude Where’s My Car

      Oh snap! ARLnow is on the job. “Is This the Potato Chip Brand of a Terrorist?” http://i.min.us/iXyZk.png

      • Deb

        ::bowing:: Well done.

      • GMO

        Full of WIN!

  • Jason S

    I don’t mind being the callous one, if you didn’t want to be known as the family of an aspiring terrorist, raise your kid to not be one. I intend to raise my kids in a way which will hopefully minimize my chances of being the parent of a sociopath and recommend others to do the same.

    • The Pope of South Arlington

      So this guy, who’s killed nobody, in response to watching his people getting murdered and his country destroyed, brags to some snitch on facebook about his DIY demolition skills and he’s a sociopath? What about the people in government who plan mass murder as an act of state and claim the right to do so. What are they?

      • Tool

        “His” people? “His” country? If his country is “over there” and not here… then why wasn’t he over there fighting for what he believed in, instead of wasting our oxygen here?? It’s bad enough we have to share it with half-wit apologists like you… If our country is soooo freakin’ horrible, why don’t you and he and all the other haters move elsewhere? Perhaps because in most of the places you feel empathy for in your American-hating heart, you wouldn’t be allowed to express your asinine opinions?… nor I mine!

        • The Pope of South Arlington

          Perfect example of how the population has been reduced to mental children who do what they’re told, and tattle on anyone who disagrees with the going line.

          Another low-rent no-neck flag-waving Patriotard! Keep loving your government while they help you right out of existence and charge you for the privilege.

          If I had the time I’d take your world apart…

          • ymmot

            Watch yourself pope.

      • mehoo

        So you think it’s okay to threaten terrorism, as long as you don’t actually do it?

  • imissTX

    This “LaRondre Gaskins” sounds like a really credible source. He was feeding the press exactly what they wanted to hear. If this story was instead about how the guy died or something, he would likely say how quiet he was but that he always seemed like a nice kid.

    • Jason S

      It sounds like you discredit his reliability based on two things: his name and his statement which makes you feel uncomfortable. Look, plenty of people cheered 9/11. One thing most of them had in common was their cult-of-choice.

    • a’town

      thats a racist comment IMHO

  • thoscarlyle

    Thanks for doing your job, ARLnow. Like most people who read elsewhere about the arrest of “a Virginia man” who “lives in Arlington,” my first question was where in Arlington that might be, and I didn’t have time to go search court documents and Google maps myself. Who, what, where, when: journalism 101. The Washington Post, among others, didn’t tell us; I’m glad you did. The headline is fine, too. Keep up the good work. Now if someone can just explain what’s with the man having three different names.

    • Dude Where’s My Car

      The Five W’s — who, what, where, when, why — are interrogatives that are supposed to be answered in a news story. “Is This the House of a Terrorist?” is asking a question, not answering it. It is a weasel-words way of implying an answer. See Loaded Question.

      • dude, get a life

        dude where’s my car, you are prob a terrorist. go away and stop reading if you dont like it.

        • Dude Where’s My Car

          Obvious troll is obvious. go away and stop reading my comments if you don’t like them. 😀

    • southie

      I googled the address as well — I would want to know if this guy was my neighbor. Thank goodness he’s on the other side of South Arlington.

  • BoredHouseWife

    Look just call this a satire piece.

  • wtf



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