By David Schultz
Johari Abdul-Malik is the imam of a mosque in Falls Church, Va. and he leads a coalition of local mosques.
He says Muslims in the D.C. area are reeling, especially because the students are known to be bright and involved in community service.
"Secretly, our own people are engaged in something that most of us don't know about," Abdul-Malik says. "And that is sending a chill through our community."
This comes on the heels of the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas. Nidal Malik Hasan, the man charged in that shooting, attended a Mosque in suburban Maryland.
Abdul-Malik says, for Muslims in the D.C. region, the last few months have been tough.
"From a moral standpoint," he says, "This is really a moral low for our community."
But Abdul-Malik says he sees a bright spot in all of this: the students' parents are cooperating with the FBI.
"It is a testimony to this community that there are parents like that," he says.
Abdul-Malik says the families of the students are of modest means and were relying on their sons as a source of income.