Pak-American female Qaeda suspect now in US custody

August 5th, 2008 - 1:25 pm ICT by ANI  


Washington, Aug 5 (ANI): A Pakistani female terror-suspect said to be having links with top Al Qaeda functionaries and who had gone missing around five years ago from Karachi along with her three sons, has reportedly been detained in Afghanistan and transferred to New York. She was caught while loitering outside a Governors compound under suspicious circumstances.

The female identified as Aafia Siddiqui and who is known to be an American-trained Pakistani neuroscientist, was on Monday charged with trying to kill American soldiers and FBI agents in a police station in Afghanistan last month, the Justice Department said.

She reportedly studied at Brandeis University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Aafia (36), who disappeared with her three children while visiting her parents home in Karachi , Pakistan , in March 2003, even as leading human rights groups in Pakistan and her family to believe she had been secretly detained, reported the New York Times.

In a criminal complaint made public on Monday night, American officials said they had no knowledge of her location for the past five years until July 17, when she and a teenage boy were detained in Ghazni , Afghanistan , after local authorities became suspicious of their loitering outside the provincial governors compound.

According to the US daily, on being physically searched the Afghan police found documents describing the creation of explosives as well as excerpts from the Anarchists Arsenal. She also carried sealed bottles and glass jars filled with liquids and gels, added the report.

The paper further reported that the day after she was detained, an American team, including two FBI agents, two American soldiers and interpreters, came to the police station to talk to her. The F.B.I. has wanted her for questioning since May 2004, a Justice Department spokesman said.

Shortly after the meeting began, the other US soldier, heard a woman yelling from behind the curtain, and as he turned he saw Aafia pointing the warrant officers rifle at him. The interpreter sitting closest to her lunged at her and pushed the rifle away as she pulled the trigger and shouted, God is Great. She fired at least two shots, but no one was hit. The warrant officer returned fire, hitting Siddiqui at least once in the torso.

Siddiqui struggled when officers tried to subdue her, striking and kicking them while shouting in English that she wanted to kill Americans. She eventually lost consciousness.

Finally, she was charged on Monday with trying to kill American officers and employees and assaulting the officers and employees, the Justice Department said.

If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count.
The wild scene in the police station is the latest chapter in one of the strangest episodes in the American campaign against terrorism. (ANI)

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