Aafia Siddiqui
Pakistani neuroscientist and terrorist
Aafia Siddiqui
Aafia Siddiqui is an American-educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist. Not long after the September 11 attacks, Dr. Siddiqui left the United States for Pakistan in 2002. Since the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in March 2003 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, by the Inter-Services Intelligence, it is believed that Mohammed mentioned Siddiqui’s name during his interrogation . He has later claimed that he gave names of innocent people under torture to "please his captors".
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Czech women kidnapped in Balochistan appear in Facebook video
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 3 years
PRAGUE: The Czech foreign ministry convened a crisis unit on Wednesday to check the authenticity of a video that turned up on the Internet and purportedly includes two-month-old footage of two women kidnapped in Balochistan in March. The two-minute video, which only shows the Czech pair for a few seconds before cutting to a photo montage, offers no indication of the kidnappers’ identity or more recent proof of life. The video first appeared on Facebook, on a profile created on Sunday under the name “Orna Moshe”. Foreign ministry spokesman Karel Srol told AFP that the authenticity of the footage was being discussed by the crisis unit dealing with the abduction of the pair in Balochistan. “I’m Antonie Chrastecka. I’m Hana Humpalova,” the women say in the video, both wearing head scarves and appearing unharmed. The video then cuts to alleged images of their passports with the purported voice of one of the women as the soundtrack: “Today is 16 A ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Boston Marathon bomber's mosque long a lightning rod for criticism
Fox News - almost 4 years
Investigators piecing together the recent activities of the two suspected Boston Marathon bombers in an effort to determine when the older of the brothers began to embrace a radical brand of Islam should take a close look at where he worshipped, according to a group that has been eyeing the mosque for years. Friends and family say that after Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Islamic faith had taken a sharp turn toward extremism sometime around 2009, the year he quit smoking, drinking and boxing. They say he also had begun to influence the religious beliefs of his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Their growing faith might have been the cause of an upheaval in the Tsarnaev household, according to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who died early Friday after a shootout with police, worshipped at the Islamic Society of Boston, located in the brothers' Cambridge neighborhood. Officials at the mosque stated that Tamerlan was an "infrequent visitor," but reports su ...
Article Link:
Fox News article
Al-Qaida leader's brother condemns Mali operation
Fox News - about 4 years
The brother of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri on Wednesday sanctioned violence against the West in retaliation for the French-led campaign against militants in Mali, saying the U.S. and Europe are "making jihadists." Mohammed al-Zawahri, one of Egypt's most influential jihadi leaders, made his comments in an interview with The Associated Press in Cairo, in the wake of the bloody four-day hostage crisis in Algeria, in which al-Qaida-linked militants seized a gas plant in retaliation for the campaign in Mali. "All Muslims have the right to stop this aggression by any means," he said of the French-led military intervention. "This barbarism, aggression and brutality ... according to Shariah, we have to confront it." "They (the West) are making jihadists," he added. The four-day confrontation that began when al-Qaida-affiliated militants stormed the remote desert natural gas complex in Ain Amenas and took hostages early Wednesda ...
Article Link:
Fox News article
Colorado man survived Algerian hostage crisis by hiding 2 1/2 days
Fox News - about 4 years
The family of a Colorado man say he survived the hostage crisis in Algeria by hiding from the terrorist for 2 1/2 days. The statement released Monday said Steven Wysocki was able to escape to the nearby Algerian military base Friday morning. Wysocki worked as a production supervisor at the natural gas field. He and his wife, Kristi, live in Elbert, a small town on the eastern Colorado plains. Kristi Wysocki told ABC News that, at times, the terrorists were only a few feet from where her husband was hiding. She said she felt that her husband "made it to hell and back." A family spokeswoman said she wouldn't be doing any other interviews. In the statement, Steven Wysocki asked for privacy as he recovers from the ordeal. Three U.S. citizens were killed in last week's hostage standoff at a natural gas complex in Algeria, while seven Americans made it out safely, Obama administration officials said Monday. The State Department confirmed that gas workers Victor Lynn Lovelad ...
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Fox News article
One American dead in hostage siege in Algeria
Fox News - about 4 years
An American worker at a natural gas complex in Algeria has been found dead, U.S. officials said Friday, as the U.S. sought to secure the release of Americans still being held by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists on the third day of a hostage standoff. Frederick Buttaccio, a Texas resident, died of a heart attach during a raid by the Algerian military to end the standoff, Fox News confirms. The general manager of the complex, Mark Cobb, also of Texas, was able to escape with members of his Algerian staff and is safe.  A spokesman for the Buttaccio family in the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas, declined to comment. "We can confirm the death of U.S. citizen Frederick Buttaccio in the hostage situation in Algeria," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. "We express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Out of respect for the family's privacy, we have no further comment." It was not immediately clear whether Buttaccio was the only American killed in the hostage s ...
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Fox News article
American still missing as US plane lands in Algeria to aid in evacuation
Fox News - about 4 years
A U.S. Air Force aero evacuation plane is in the process of rescuing Americans and others who were taken hostage by an Al Qaeda-linked group at a gas plant in Algeria. The rescued hostages will be flown to a U.S. facility in Europe.  An American from Texas remains missing after an Algerian military raid on the terror group reportedly ended the hostage standoff at the remote gas plant in the Saharan Desert.  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the U.S. is working with the British and Algerian governments to assess what's happening on the ground. Speaking Friday at Kings College in London, Panetta said the U.S. is "working around the clock to ensure the safe return of our citizens." Militants reportedly want to swap two Americans for jailed terror figures, a Mauritania news site reported. One of the two, Omar Abdel Rahman, masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. ANI News Agency identifies the other terrorist as Aafia Siddiqui, Reuters reports.  Panetta says th ...
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Fox News article
Malik Siraj Akbar: How the Taliban Turned Against Pakistan's Right-Wing Journalists
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Pakistan has announced a reward of 50 million rupees (approximately $520,000) for anyone with information about people involved in a failed plot to assassinate a renowned television journalist last week in Islamabad, the nation's capital. Geo Television, Pakistan's first 24/7 private news channel, said Hamid Mir, the host of popular talk-show Capital Talk was the prime target of a car bomb plot. The attackers had fixed a bag with a half kilogram of explosive material below the senior journalist's car seat, which was immediately removed by the bomb disposal squad after Mr. Mir's neighbors spotted the suspicious bag. The Pakistani Taliban have accepted responsibility for attempting to kill Mr. Mir, saying that they have some other journalists on their 'hit-list.' The Taliban spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, did not disclose the names of other journalists his group intends to target in the future. According to Pakistani newspaper the Express Tribune, "Mir was on his way t ...
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Huffington Post article
A controversial interview
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
Fox News’ purported interview of Dr Shakil Afridi certainly makes for explosive reading but also causes one to pause in doubt. Just how did this right wing US TV organisation land an interview with someone incarcerated in Peshawar whom the intelligence agencies would ensure had no access to journalists or communication devices? The interviewer, Dominic Di-Natale, claimed on Twitter that he personally spoke to Afridi for 40 minutes and that he was unable to explain how he landed the interview in order to protect those who helped him secure it. The most likely explanation for this is that Di-Natale was able to smuggle a telephone to Afridi. This, too, raises another set of questions. Does that mean prison guards, who would certainly thoroughly check any visitors Afridi had, were part of the process? And though Di-Natale claims that he asked Afridi key questions to ascertain his identity, wouldn’t intelligence officials who interrogated him also know t ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Big Apple blues
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
A Pakistani-American who considers himself a native New Yorker was shocked the other day when I asked him to tell me if he could spot a single Pakistani worker in the restaurant where we met. We were having lunch at Haandi, a busy Pakistani restaurant in midtown Manhattan — a place frequented by Pakistanis who demand authentic halal food. You know, the type who eat paya for breakfast, biryani for lunch and nihari for dinner. Yes, that authentic type! Not finding any Pakistani worker in a hardcore Pakistani restaurant, my friend was puzzled, to say the least. To confirm that it was not an aberration we drove to Jackson Heights, a neighbourhood in the northwestern portion of the New York City borough of Queens — a neighbourhood known for its diversity. South Asians think of it as the South Hall of New York. We went to another famous Pakistani restaurant and I tasked my friend with finding any Pakistani worker there as well. The only person he could ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Karl Grossman: Cattle or People?
Huffington Post - over 4 years
The National Research Council has issued a report identifying "a number of deficiencies" in an "updated risk assessment" done by the federal government for the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF) it wants to build in Kansas to replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center just off Long Island, New York. U.S. Representative Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), who has been challenging the project, issued a statement praising the report because it "bolsters" his view "that building NBAF in America's agricultural heartland ... is unacceptably risky." He cited "the potentially devastating consequences of a release of the most virulent animal diseases in the heart of cattle country." The Southampton Democrat also cited, as he has repeatedly, "the jobs of over 100 Long Islanders" threatened by the closure of the Plum Island center, and the NBAF's $1-billion cost. Randy Altschuler, a St. James, Long Island Republican now in a second run to replace Bishop, although differing with him ...
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Huffington Post article
Quelling rumours: US prison officials deny Dr Aafia passed away
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
WASHINGTON:  A spokesperson for the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas denied rumours that Dr Aafia Siddiqui had passed away. Speaking to The Express Tribune, Dr Maria Douglas, the spokesperson for FMC Carswell, where Aafia is serving her prison sentence, said statements that she had passed away were “absolutely false.” Dr Douglas added that no medical emergency had arisen either. A statement by the Pakistan Embassy in the US said they and the Consulate General in Texas were in regular contact with FMC Carswell authorities regarding Aafia. “At our query, prison authorities confirmed that Dr Aafia Siddiqui was quite well. She is also in regular telephone contact with her family and, according to the authorities, last telephoned her family on 19 June 2012,” the press release said. The Embassy maintained it was continuously engaged with the prison authorities to ensure Aafia’s well being. “An officer from the Pakistan ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Dr Aafia still alive: US prison spokesperson
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
WASHINGTON: An official for the holding facility where neuroscientist Dr Afia Siddiqui is being kept, has denied rumours of her death. Speaking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday, Dr Maria Douglas, a spokesperson for Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas where Dr Siddiqui is serving her prison sentence, vehemently denied rumours and said that it was absolutely false that Dr Siddiqui had passed away, adding that no medical emergency has arisen. Earlier, text messages were circulating in Pakistan claiming that Dr Siddiqui had passed away at the prison facility. Dr Siddiqui, a neuroscientist by profession and a graduate of MIT, allegedly went missing for five years before she was discovered in Afghanistan. The prosecution says that she tried to fire on a US soldier during her interrogation. She has also been accused of working for al Qaeda. Her family disputes the US version of this account. She was sentenced to 86 years in prison ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Allegations for Hiding Osama
Pakistan KhudaHafiz - almost 5 years
Allegation of Army/ISI hiding OBL is frivolous. By Brig Asif Haroon Raja Myth of Osama bin Laden (OBL) was the creation of CIA and none else. CIA gave birth to al-Qaeda and fondly nurtured it throughout its infancy in the decade of 1980s. The ISI had no connection with al-Qaeda, since it was a collection of Arabs collected together by CIA from Arab countries and pushed into the inferno of Afghanistan. CIA would have continued to patronize al-Qaeda had Soviet Union not accepted defeat and withdrawn from Afghanistan and subsequently fragmented. Lionized OBL became a terrorist and his al-Qaeda became a terrorist outfit once the US achieved its objective and al-Qaeda had lost its utility value. He was chased and hunted after the two attacks on US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and on USS Cole warship off Yemeni coast in late 1990s. An attempt was made on him when his camp in Khost was hit by cruise missiles from a US aircraft carrier anchored in Arabian Sea near Karachi i ...
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Pakistan KhudaHafiz article
Aafia’s constitutional, religious, democratic all rights have been violated
CNN - almost 5 years
Dr. Fauzia, sister of Pride of Pakistan, daughter of the Nation, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, said it has been 9 years since Aafia’s abduction and for the past 5 years Aafia is locked up in a US jail for a crime she did not commit. Yet our leaders talk of democracy, parliament, and constitutional rights but strive only to save their own seats and positions. Our sister and daughter of the nation is being politicized and used, though her constitutional, religious, democratic all rights have been violated no positive action is undertaken. Dr. Fowzia was addressing a huge rally of the Karvan-e-Ghairat (the Honor Caravan) where thousands of people had gathered in support of Aafia Siddiqui and restoration of honor and dignity. Dr. Fowzia Said today is Mothers day, and we can all see the double standards of the Western imperialism. I ask the mothers of the west to feel in their hearts the pain that their governments have inflicted in the hearts of the mothers whose innocent children were victims of ...
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CNN article
British Lord Puts Bounty on American Presidents
Right Side News - almost 5 years
It's also a damning indictment of how the British political system empowered and supported a radical Islamist, despite indications that his misuse of the position would convey legitimacy to extremist causes. "If the U.S. can announce a reward of $10 million for the [capture] of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10 million [for the capture of] President Obama and his predecessor, George Bush," Ahmed was quoted as saying by Pakistan's Express Tribune. The threat came during a seminar at Punjab University entitled "International Scenario, Pakistan and Our Responsibilities." It was a sharp response to an American reward for Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the founder of Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and an alleged planner of the Mumbai massacre in November 2008. Ahmed was appointed the Lord of Rotherdam for life in 1998, during Tony Blair's reign as prime minister. He functions as a Labour Party representative for Britain's noble upper branch of Parliament, the House of ...
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Right Side News article
Ghosts and whispers from a forgotten past - The News International
Google News - over 5 years
... this act in itself deserves praise – particularly in a land where hardly anyone had agitated for Aasia, in contrast to the hysterical campaign for the release from a US jail of Aafia Siddiqui, the young woman convicted of involvement in militancy
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Google News article
Protest held for Aafia's release - PakistanToday.com.pk
Google News - over 5 years
ISLAMABAD - Civil society members on Wednesday held a protest demonstration outside the National Press Club to press their demand for Dr Aafia Siddiqui's release from an American jail before the 18th Eid of her imprisonment. The protesters slammed the
Article Link:
Google News article
Demo for Aafia - Frontier Post
Google News - over 5 years
LAHORE (APP): Activists of different political parties, social welfare organizations and civil society under the auspices of Aafia Movement staged a protest demonstration for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.A large number of activists of Islami Tehrik
Article Link:
Google News article
Pak Taliban Kidnap two Swiss Tourists as Ransom for Aafia Siddiqui - GroundReport
Google News - over 5 years
The TTP demands the release of Aafia Siddiqui, considered by many in Pakistan to be innocent. Aafia Siddiqui is a neuroscientist, who graduated from MIT, Boston, and later got a doctorate from Brandeis University. She is now incarcerated in Texas for
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Aafia Siddiqui
    FORTIES
  • 2015
    Age 42
    In February 2015, Paul Gosar said the family of Kayla Mueller had been told plans to swap her for Siddiqui were underway in the months before her death.
    More Details Hide Details In August 2009, Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani met with Siddiqui's sister at his residence, and assured her that Pakistan would seek Siddiqui's release from the US The Pakistani government paid $2 million for the services of three lawyers to assist in the defense of Siddiqui during her trial. Many Siddiqui supporters were present during the proceedings, and outside the court dozens of people rallied to demand her release. In Pakistan, Siddiqui's February 2010 conviction was followed with expressions of support by many Pakistanis, who appeared increasingly anti-American, as well as by politicians and the news media, who characterised her as a symbol of victimisation by the United States. Her ex-husband, Amjad Khan, said Siddiqui was "reaping the fruit of her own decision. Her family has been portraying Aafia as a victim. We would like the truth to come out."
  • 2014
    Age 41
    In August 2014, it was reported that the terrorist who claimed responsibility for the beheading of U.S. photojournalist James Foley mentioned Siddiqui in an email to Foley's family.
    More Details Hide Details Siddiqui is identified in the email as one of the Muslim "sisters" the Islamic State was purportedly willing to swap as part of a prisoner exchange with the United States.
  • 2013
    Age 40
    In June 2013, the captors of two Czech women kidnapped in Pakistan demanded the release of Siddiqui in exchange for the two captives.
    More Details Hide Details Both Czech women were released in March 2015, following intense negotiations by a Turkish NGO IHH.
    In January 2013, al-Qaeda-linked terrorists involved in the Algerian In Amenas hostage crisis listed the release of Siddiqui as one of their demands.
    More Details Hide Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 2011
    Age 38
    In December 2011, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri demanded the release of Siddiqui in exchange for Warren Weinstein, an American aid worker kidnapped in Pakistan on 13 August 2011. Weinstein was accidentally killed in a drone strike in January 2015.
    More Details Hide Details
    In July 2011, the then-deputy of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Waliur Rehman, announced that they wanted to swap Siddiqui for two Swiss citizens abducted in Balochistan.
    More Details Hide Details The Swiss couple escaped in March 2012.
  • 2010
    Age 37
    On 8 October 2010, Norgrove was accidentally killed during a rescue attempt by a grenade thrown by one of her rescuers.
    More Details Hide Details
    Siddiqui was sentenced to 86 years in prison by the federal judge Berman in Manhattan on 23 September 2010.
    More Details Hide Details During the sentencing appearance, which lasted one hour, Siddiqui spoke on her own behalf. A New York Times reporter wrote that at times during the hearing Judge Berman seemed to be speaking to an audience beyond the courtroom in an apparent attempt to address widespread speculation about Ms. Siddiqui and her case. He gave as an example a reference to the five-year period before her 2008 arrest of Ms. Siddiqui's disappearance and claims of torture, where the Judge said: "I am aware of no evidence in the record to substantiate these allegations or to establish them as fact. There is no credible evidence in the record that the United States officials and/or agencies detained Dr. Siddiqui". At the time of sentencing Siddiqui did not show any interest in filing an appeal, instead saying "I appeal to God and he hears me." After she was sentenced, she urged forgiveness and asked the public not to take any action in retaliation.
    On 3 February 2010, she was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder, armed assault, using and carrying a firearm, and three counts of assault on US officers and employees.
    More Details Hide Details After jurors found Siddiqui guilty, she exclaimed: "This is a verdict coming from Israel, not America. That's where the anger belongs." She faced a minimum sentence of 30 years and a maximum of life in prison on the firearm charge, and could also have received a sentence of up to 20 years for each attempted murder and armed assault charge, and up to 8 years on each of the remaining assault counts. Her lawyers requested a 12-year sentence, instead of the life sentence recommended by the probation office. They argued that mental illness drove her actions when she attempted to escape from the Afghan National Police station "by any means available... what she viewed as a horrific fate". Her lawyers also claimed her mental illness was on display during her trial outbursts and boycotts, and that she was "first and foremost" the victim of her own irrational behaviour. The sentencing hearing set to take place on 6 May 2010, was rescheduled for mid-August 2010, and then September 2010.
    After 18 months of detention, Siddiqui's trial began in New York City on 19 January 2010.
    More Details Hide Details Prior to the jury entering the courtroom, Siddiqui told onlookers that she would not work with her lawyers because the trial was a sham. She also said: "I have information about attacks, more than 9/11!... I want to help the President to end this group, to finish them... They are a domestic, U.S. group; they are not Muslim." Nine government witnesses were called by the prosecution: Army Captain Robert Snyder, John Threadcraft, a former army officer, and FBI agent John Jefferson testified first. As Snyder testified that Siddiqui had been arrested with a handwritten note outlining plans to attack various US sites, she interjected: "Since I'll never get a chance to speak... If you were in a secret prison... or your children were tortured... Give me a little credit, this is not a list of targets against New York. I was never planning to bomb it. You're lying." The court also heard from FBI agent John Jefferson and Ahmed Gul, an army interpreter, who recounted their struggle with her. The judge disallowed as evidence her possession of chemicals and terror manuals and her alleged ties to al-Qaeda because they could have created an inappropriate bias.
    Prior to her trial, Siddiqui said she was innocent of all charges. She maintained she could prove she was innocent, but refused to do so in court. On 11 January 2010, Siddiqui told the Judge that she would not co-operate with her attorneys, and wanted to fire them.
    More Details Hide Details She said she did not trust the Judge, and added, "I'm boycotting the trial, just to let all of you know. There's too many injustices." She then put her head down on the defence table as the prosecution proceeded.
  • 2009
    Age 36
    In April 2009, Manhattan federal judge Richard Berman held that she "may have some mental health issues" but was competent to stand trial.
    More Details Hide Details A three-person defence team was hired by the Pakistani embassy to supplement her two existing public defenders, but Siddiqui refused to co-operate with them. She tried to dismiss her lawyers because they were Jewish. She said the case against her was a Jewish conspiracy, and demanded that no Jews be allowed on the jury. She demanded that all prospective jurors be DNA-tested, and excluded from the jury at her trial "if they have a Zionist or Israeli background... they are all mad at me... I have a feeling everyone here is them—subject to genetic testing. They should be excluded, if you want to be fair." Siddiqui's legal team said, in regard to her comments, that her incarceration had damaged her mind.
    A psychiatrist employed by the prosecutor to examine Siddiqui's competence to stand trial, Gregory B. Saathoff M.D., noted in a March 2009 report that Siddiqui frequently verbally and physically refused to allow the medical staff to check her vital signs and weight, attempted to refuse medical care once it was apparent that her wound had largely healed, and refused to take antibiotics.
    More Details Hide Details At the same time, Siddiqui claimed to her brother that when she needed medical treatment she did not get it, which Saathoff said he found no support for in his review of documents and interviews with medical and security personnel, nor in his interviews with Siddiqui. Siddiqui's trial was subject to delays, the longest being six months to perform psychiatric evaluations. She had been given routine mental health check-ups ten times in August and six times in September. She underwent three sets of psychological assessments before trial. Her first psychiatric evaluation diagnosed her with depressive psychosis, and her second evaluation, ordered by the court, revealed chronic depression. Leslie Powers initially determined Siddiqui mentally unfit to stand trial. After reviewing portions of FBI reports, however, she told the pre-trial judge she believed Siddiqui was faking mental illness. In a third set of psychological assessments, more detailed than the previous two, three of four psychiatrists concluded that she was "malingering" (faking her symptoms of mental illness). One suggested that this was to prevent criminal prosecution, and to improve her chances of being returned to Pakistan.
    However, Pakistani and US intelligence sources, a defence psychologist during her 2009 trial, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's family all confirm that the marriage took place.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2008
    Age 35
    In November 2008, forensic psychologist Dr. Leslie Powers reported that Siddiqui had been "reluctant to allow medical staff to treat her".
    More Details Hide Details Her last medical exam had indicated her external wounds no longer required medical dressing, and were healing well.
    On 9 September 2008, she underwent a forced medical exam.
    More Details Hide Details
    Siddiqui was provided care for her wound while incarcerated in the US. In September 2008, a prosecutor reported to the court that Siddiqui had refused to be examined by a female doctor, despite the doctor's extensive efforts.
    More Details Hide Details
    On August 4, 2008, Aafia Siddiqui was placed on an FBI jet and flown to New York City after the Afghan government granted extradition to the United States for trial.
    More Details Hide Details The following day, more than two weeks after her operation, Siddiqui appeared before a judge in a Manhattan courtroom for her arraignment in a wheelchair. After her appearance, having received due process, she was remanded into custody. While incarcerated in the U.S.A., Siddiqui was provided care for her wound. On 11 August, after her counsel maintained that Siddiqui had not seen a doctor since arriving in the US the previous week, US magistrate judge Henry B. Pitman ordered that she be examined by a medical doctor within 24 hours. Prosecutors maintained that Siddiqui had received adequate medical care for her gunshot wound, but could not confirm that she had been seen by a doctor. The judge postponed her bail hearing until 3 September. An examination by a doctor the following day found no visible signs of infection; she also received a CAT scan.
    On July 31, 2008, while Siddiqui was still being treated in Afghanistan, she was charged in a sealed criminal complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, with assault with a deadly weapon and with attempting to kill a United States Army Captain “while engaged in... official duties.” In total, she was charged on two counts of attempted murder of US nationals, officers, and employees, assault with a deadly weapon, carrying and using a firearm, and three counts of assault on US officers and employees.
    More Details Hide Details Explaining why the US may have chosen to charge her as they did, rather than for her alleged terrorism, Bruce Hoffman, professor of security studies at Georgetown University, said: There’s no intelligence data that needs to be introduced, no sources and methods that need to be risked. It’s a good old-fashioned crime; it's the equivalent of a 1920s gangster with a tommy gun. A lawyer for Siddiqui, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, expressed scepticism regarding both terrorism and assault charges: I think it's interesting that they make all these allegations about the dirty bombs and other items she supposedly had, but they haven't charged her with anything relating to terrorism... I would urge people to consider her as innocent unless the government proves otherwise.
    On the evening of 17 July 2008, Siddiqui was approached by Ghazni Province police officers, in the city of Ghazni, outside the Ghazni governor's compound.
    More Details Hide Details She was holding two small bags at her side, while crouching on the ground. This aroused the officer's suspicion, raising concerns that she might be concealing a bomb under the burqa that she was wearing. Previously, a shopkeeper had noticed a woman in a burqa drawing a map, which is suspicious in Afghanistan where women are generally illiterate. She was accompanied by a young boy that she said was her adopted son. She said her name was Saliha, that she was from Multan in Pakistan, and that the boy's name was Ali Hassan. Discovering that she did not speak either of Afghanistan's main languages, Pashtu or Dari, the officers regarded her as suspicious. She was detained, and taken to the police station for questioning. She initially claimed that the boy was her stepson, Ali Hassan. She subsequently admitted he was her biological son, when DNA testing proved the boy to be Ahmed.
    Assistant US Attorney David Raskin said in 2008 that US agencies found "zero evidence" that she was abducted, kidnapped or tortured in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details He added: "A more plausible inference is that she went into hiding because people around her started to get arrested, and at least two of those people ended up at Guantanamo Bay." According to some U.S. officials, she went underground after the FBI alert for her was issued, and was at large working on behalf of al-Qaeda. The Guardian cited an anonymous senior Pakistani official suggesting Siddiqui may have abandoned the militant cause.
    The US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W. Patterson, categorically stated that Siddiqui had not been in US custody "at any time" prior to July 2008.
    More Details Hide Details The US Justice Department and the CIA denied the allegations, and Gregory Sullivan, a State Department spokesman, said: "For several years, we have had no information regarding her whereabouts whatsoever. It is our belief that she... has all this time been concealed from the public view by her own choosing."
    Ahmad and Siddiqui reappeared in 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Afghan authorities handed the boy over to Pakistan in September 2008. He now lives with his aunt in Karachi, who has prohibited him from talking to the press. In April 2010, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed a 12-year-old girl found outside a house in Karachi was identified by DNA as Siddiqui's daughter, Mariyam, and that she had been returned to her family. Siddiqui's sister and mother denied that she had any connections to al-Qaeda, and that the US detained her secretly in Afghanistan. They point to comments by former Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, detainees who say Siddiqui had been at the prison while they were there. Her sister said that Siddiqui had been raped, and tortured for five years. According to journalist and former Taliban captive Yvonne Ridley, Siddiqui spent those years in solitary confinement at Bagram as Prisoner 650. Six human rights groups, including Amnesty International, listed her as possibly being a "ghost prisoner" held by the US Siddiqui claimed that she had been kidnapped by US intelligence and Pakistani intelligence.
    Siddiqui's maternal uncle, Shams ul-Hassan Faruqi, said that on 22 January 2008 she visited him in Islamabad.
    More Details Hide Details He said that she told him she had been held by Pakistani agencies. She asked for his help to cross into Afghanistan, where she thought she would be safe in the hands of the Taliban. He had worked in Afghanistan and made contact with the Taliban in 1999, but told her he was no longer in touch with them. He notified his sister, Siddiqui's mother, who came the next day to see her daughter. He said that Siddiqui stayed with them for two days. Her uncle has signed an affidavit swearing to these facts.
  • 2005
    Age 32
    Siddiqui told the FBI that she worked at the Karachi Institute of Technology in 2005, was in Afghanistan in 2007, and also spent time in Quetta, Pakistan, sheltered by various people.
    More Details Hide Details According to an intelligence official in the Afghan Ministry of the Interior, her son, Ahmad, who was with her when she was arrested, said he and Siddiqui had worked in an office in Pakistan, collecting money for poor people. He told Afghan investigators that on 14 August 2008 they had travelled by road from Quetta, Pakistan, to Afghanistan. Amjad Khan, who unsuccessfully sought custody of his eldest son, Ahmad, said most of the claims of the family in the Pakistani media relating to her and their children were one-sided and mostly false. An Afghan intelligence official said he believes that Siddiqui was working with Jaish-e-Mohammed (the "Army of Muhammad"), a Pakistani Islamic mujahedeen military group that fights in Kashmir and Afghanistan.
  • 2004
    Age 31
    According to a dossier prepared by UN investigators for the 9/11 Commission in 2004, Siddiqui, using the alias Fahrem or Feriel Shahin, was one of six alleged al-Qaeda members who bought $19 million worth of blood diamonds in Monrovia, Liberia, immediately prior to the 11 September 2001 attacks.
    More Details Hide Details The diamonds were purchased because they were untraceable assets to be used for funding al-Qaeda operations. The identification of Siddiqui was made three years after the incident by one of the go-betweens in the Liberian deal. Alan White, former chief investigator of the UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Liberia, said she was the woman. Siddiqui's lawyer maintained credit card receipts and other records showed that she was in Boston at the time. FBI agent Dennis Lormel, who investigated terrorism financing, said the agency ruled out a specific claim that she had evaluated diamond operations in Liberia, though she remained suspected of money laundering.
    In May 2004, the FBI named Siddiqui as one of its seven Most Wanted Terrorists.
    More Details Hide Details Her whereabouts were reported to have been unknown until she was arrested in July 2008 in Afghanistan. Upon her arrest, the Afghan police said she was carrying in her purse handwritten notes and a computer thumb drive containing recipes for conventional bombs and weapons of mass destruction, instructions on how to make machines to shoot down US drones, descriptions of New York City landmarks with references to a mass casualty attack, and two pounds of sodium cyanide in a glass jar. Siddiqui was shot and severely wounded at the police compound the following day. Her American interrogators said she grabbed a rifle from behind a curtain and began shooting at them. Siddiqui's own version was that she simply stood up to see who was on the other side of the curtain and startled the soldiers, one of whom then shot her. She received medical attention for her wounds at Bagram Air Base and was flown to the US to be charged in a New York City federal court with attempted murder, and armed assault on US officers and employees. She denied the charges. After receiving psychological evaluations and therapy, the judge declared her mentally fit to stand trial. Siddiqui interrupted the trial proceedings with vocal outbursts and was ejected from the courtroom several times. The jury convicted her on all charges in February 2010.
  • 2003
    Age 30
    According to her ex-husband, after the global alert for her was issued, Siddiqui went into hiding and worked for al-Qaeda. During her disappearance Khan said he saw her at Islamabad airport in April 2003 as she disembarked from a flight with their son; he said he helped Inter-Services Intelligence identify her.
    More Details Hide Details He said he again saw her two years later, in a Karachi traffic jam.
    In 2003–04, the FBI and the Pakistani government said they did not know where Siddiqui was.
    More Details Hide Details US Attorney General John Ashcroft described her as a "clear and present danger to the US". On 26 May 2004, the US listed her among the seven "most wanted" al-Qaeda fugitives. One day before the announcement, The New York Times cited the Department of Homeland Security saying there were no current risks; American Democrats accused the Bush administration of attempting to divert attention from plummeting poll numbers and to push the failings of the Invasion of Iraq off the front pages.
    Siddiqui's and her children's whereabouts and activities from March 2003 to July 2008 are a matter of dispute. On 1 April 2003, local newspapers reported, and Pakistan interior ministry confirmed, that a woman had been taken into custody on terrorism charges.
    More Details Hide Details The Boston Globe described "sketchy" Pakistani news reports saying she had been detained for questioning by Pakistani authorities and the FBI. However, a couple of days later, both the Pakistan government and the FBI publicly stated they were uninvolved in her disappearance. Her sister Fauzia claimed Interior Minister Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat said that her sister had been released and would be returning home "shortly".
    The press reported Mohammed naming Siddiqui as an al-Qaeda operative; On 25 March 2003, the FBI issued a global "wanted for questioning" alert for Siddiqui and her ex-husband, Amjad Khan.
    More Details Hide Details Siddiqui was accused of being a "courier of blood diamonds and a financial fixer for al-Qaida". Khan was questioned by the FBI and released. Aware that the FBI wanted her for questioning, she left her parents' house March 30 with her three children. She said she was going to go to Islamabad to visit her uncle, but she never arrived.
    In early 2003, while Siddiqui was working at Aga Khan University in Karachi, she emailed a former professor at Brandeis and expressed interest in working in the US, citing lack of options in Karachi for women of her academic background. According to the media, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, alleged al-Qaeda chief planner of the 11 September attacks, was interrogated by the CIA after his arrest on 1 March 2003.
    More Details Hide Details Mohammed was subjected to waterboarding 183 times, and his resultant confessions triggered a series of related arrests shortly thereafter.
    She had worked with al-Baluchi in opening a PO box for Majid Khan, and says she married him in March or April 2003.
    More Details Hide Details
    In February 2003, she married accused al-Qaeda member Ammar al-Baluchi, a nephew of al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in Karachi.
    More Details Hide Details Her family denies she married al-Baluchi.
    She was allegedly abducted by unknown authories with her 3 children in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details It is widely accepted that she was held captive against her will at Bagram Air Force Base. She subsequently disappeared until she was arrested in Ghazni, Afghanistan, by Afghan police, 17 July 2008, with documents and notes for making bombs plus containers of sodium cyanide. She was held for questioning. Siddiqui was shot in the torso the next day by visiting U.S. FBI and Army personnel, after allegedly shooting at them with a rifle one of the interrogators had placed on the floor. Siddiqui was flown by the FBI to New York and indicted in New York federal district court in September 2008, on charges of assault and attempted murder of a United States Army Captain in the police station in Ghazni, Afghanistan. Siddiqui denied the charges. After 18 months in detention, she was tried and convicted on 3 February 2010 and sentenced later that year to 86 years in prison.
  • TWENTIES
  • 2002
    Age 29
    Siddiqui left for the US on 25 December 2002, informing her ex-husband that she was looking for a job; she returned on 2 January 2003.
    More Details Hide Details Amjad later stated he was suspicious of her explanation, as universities were on winter break. The FBI alleged that the purpose of the trip was to open a post office box for Majid Khan, whom they believed to be an al-Qaeda operative, and listed as a co-owner of the box. The FBI believes the purpose of this was to make it appear that Khan, whom Siddiqui had listed as a co-owner of the box, was still in the US. The P.O. box key was later found in the possession of Uzair Paracha, who was convicted of providing material support to al-Qaeda.
    In September 2002, Siddiqui gave birth to the last of their three children, Suleman. The couple's divorce was finalised on 21 October 2002.
    More Details Hide Details
    In August 2002, Khan alleged that Siddiqui was abusive and manipulative throughout their seven years of marriage; he suspected she could be involved in extremist activities.
    More Details Hide Details Khan went to Siddiqui's parents' home, announced his intention to divorce her, and argued with her father.
    In May 2002, the FBI questioned Siddiqui and her husband regarding their purchase over the internet of $10,000 worth of night vision equipment, body armour, and military manuals including The Anarchist's Arsenal, Fugitive, Advanced Fugitive, and How to Make C-4.
    More Details Hide Details Khan claimed that these were for hunting and camping expeditions. On 26 June 2002, the couple and their children returned to Karachi.
    A Muslim who had engaged in Islamic charity work, she returned to Pakistan in 2002 before disappearing with her three young children in March 2003, shortly after the arrest in Pakistan of her allegedly second husband's uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged chief planner of the September 11 attacks.
    More Details Hide Details Khalid Mohammed reportedly mentioned Siddiqui's name while he was being interrogated and, shortly thereafter, she was added to the FBI Seeking Information – War on Terrorism list.
  • 1999
    Age 26
    In 1999, while living in Boston, Siddiqui founded the Institute of Islamic Research and Teaching as a nonprofit organisation.
    More Details Hide Details She served as the organisation's president, her husband was the treasurer, and her sister was the resident agent.). She attended a mosque outside the city where she stored copies of the Quran and other Islamic literature for distribution. She also co-founded the Dawa Resource Center, which offered faith-based services to prison inmates. In the summer of 2001, the couple moved to Malden, Massachusetts. According to Khan, after the September 11 attacks, Siddiqui insisted on leaving the US, saying that it was unsafe for them and their children to remain. He also said that she wanted him to move to Afghanistan and work as a medic for the mujahideen.
    Siddiqui studied cognitive neuroscience at Brandeis University. In early 1999, while she was a graduate student, she taught the General Biology Laboratory course.
    More Details Hide Details She received her PhD in 2001 after completing her dissertation on learning through imitation; Separating the Components of Imitation. Siddiqui's dissertation adviser was a Brandeis psychology professor who recalled that she wore a head scarf and thanked Allah when an experiment was successful. He said her research concerned how people learn and did not believe it could be connected to anything that would be useful to Al-Qaeda. She co-authored a journal article on selective learning that was published in 2003.
  • 1996
    Age 23
    She gave birth to a son, Muhammad Ahmed, in 1996, and to a daughter, Mariam Bint-e Muhammad, in 1998.
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  • 1995
    Age 22
    In 1995 she had an arranged marriage to anesthesiologist Amjad Mohammed Khan from Karachi, just out of medical school, whom she had never seen.
    More Details Hide Details The marriage ceremony was conducted over the telephone. Khan then came to the US, and the couple lived first in Lexington, Massachusetts, and then in the Mission Hill neighbourhood of Roxbury, Boston, where he worked as an anesthesiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
    When Pakistan asked the US for help in 1995 in combating religious extremism, Siddiqui circulated the announcement with a scornful note deriding Pakistan for "officially" joining "the typical gang of our contemporary Muslim governments", closing her email with a quote from the Quran warning Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as friends.
    More Details Hide Details She wrote three guides for teaching Islam, expressing the hope in one: "that our humble effort continues... and more and more people come to the religion of Allah until America becomes a Muslim land." She took a 12-hour pistol training course at the Braintree Rifle and Pistol Club.
    While she initially had a triple major in biology, anthropology, and archaeology at MIT, she graduated in 1995 with a BS in biology.
    More Details Hide Details She was regarded as religious by her fellow MIT students, but not unusually so: a student who lived in the dorm at the time said, "She was just nice and soft-spoken, not terribly assertive." She joined the Muslim Students' Association (MSA), and a fellow Pakistani recalls her recruiting for association meetings and distributing pamphlets. Siddiqui solicited money for the Al Kifah Refugee Center which has been tied to al-Qaeda. Through the MSA she met several committed Islamists, including Suheil Laher, its imam, who publicly advocated Islamization and jihad before 9/11. Journalist Deborah Scroggins suggested that through the MSA's contacts Siddiqui may have been drawn into the world of terrorism: At MIT, several of the MSA's most active members had fallen under the spell of Abdullah Azzam, a Muslim Brother who was Osama bin Laden's mentor. Azzam had established the Al Kifah Refugee Center New York to function as its worldwide recruiting post, propaganda office, and fund-raising center for the mujahideen fighting in Afghanistan... It would become the nucleus of the al-Qaeda organization.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1992
    Age 19
    In 1992, as a sophomore, Siddiqui received a Carroll L. Wilson Award for her research proposal "Islamization in Pakistan and its Effects on Women".
    More Details Hide Details As a junior, she received a $1,200 City Days fellowship through MIT's program to help clean up Cambridge elementary school playgrounds.
  • 1990
    Age 17
    Siddiqui moved to Houston, Texas on a student visa in 1990 joining her brother.
    More Details Hide Details She attended the University of Houston for three semesters, then transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after being awarded a full scholarship.
    Siddiqui went to the United States on a student visa in 1990 for undergraduate and graduate education.
    More Details Hide Details She eventually settled in Massachusetts and earned a PhD in neuroscience from Brandeis University in 2001.
    Siddiqui was born in Pakistan and spent her childhood there. In 1990 she went to study neuroscience in the United States and obtained a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 2001.
    More Details Hide Details In early 2003, during the 2001 Afghanistan War caused by a conflict between United States and Al-Qaeda, Siddiqui returned to Pakistan. In March 2003, she was named as a courier and financier for Al-Qaeda by Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and was placed on a "wanted for questioning" list by the American FBI.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1972
    Born
    Born on March 2, 1972.
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