By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
If Shoaib is to be believed, Raees's problems escalated after his return from Pakistan. Raees engrossed himself in images of warfare and suffering in Afghanistan. "That's when the fucked-up part started," Shoaib said. "If you watch violence, you'll become addicted to violence." Raees's obsession swallowed whole days. At night, he would be at his Xbox, playing Call of Duty or other games of violence. The family tried to sell his Xbox on Craigslist, demanding he quit the videos and games. But Raees couldn't.
Sheheryar soon found his little brother a job at a Dunkin' Donuts off Andrews Avenue, but Raees quit almost immediately. The manager prohibited Raees from praying on the job, so he walked out, furious at the man, furious at America.
He soon haunted the same mosque, Masjid Al Iman on Franklin Road, that convicted terrorist José Padilla attended during the 1990s. He spent most of his afternoons worshiping, but few there remember him well. Muhammad Ahmed, an elderly Sudanese man who has lived in the United States for "many years," said he tried to teach the teenager Arabic, but the younger man quit after three sessions. "Raees was someone we saw every day," Ahmed said. "We didn't see anything not normal in his behavior... and then, suddenly, he was just taken away."
Then, one day last month, a letter arrived for Sheheryar. "Thank you, brother, for everything," it read. "But I must leave now." The next morning, the family awoke, and Raees had departed for New York, where prosecutors say he searched for places to plant a bomb.
On November 29, when Raees arrived back in Miami, FBI agents arrested him, extracted the alleged bomb-making materials from the family's apartment, and cuffed Sheheryar as well.
It was deeply confusing, Shoaib said. The Christmas lights had been for a wedding. And who doesn't have batteries around the house? Today the family, barely eking out an existence before, has imploded. Its financial rock, Sheheryar, is gone, perhaps forever. Eviction notices have streamed in, and the family will soon lose the apartment.
What's more, inside this quiet gated apartment complex, something dark and racial has emerged. Perhaps, said neighbor Barbara Kubiak, who lives next door to the Qazis, other Muslims in the community are terrorists too. "It's pretty scary when they're one wall away," she added. "They have to get out of here. It's done. They have to get out."
Shoaib Qazi isn't surprised by the fallout. "You know how people are — they're scared already. If you change your name to a Muslim name, they'd ask you why. And then they'd start looking at you too."