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NEW YORK - An MIT-educated Pakistani woman once identified as a possible al-Qaida associate has been brought to New York to face charges she tried to kill U.S. agents and military officers during an interrogation in Afghanistan, federal prosecutors said.
Aafia Siddiqui, who was shot and wounded last month during the confrontation, was expected to be arraigned Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan on charges of attempted murder and assault, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said in a statement. A lawyer for her family said the allegations are false.
Siddiqui, 36, was stopped by Afghan police on July 17 outside a government building, according to a criminal complaint. Police searched her handbag and discovered documents containing recipes for explosives and chemical weapons and describing "various landmarks in the United States, including New York City," according to the complaint, which did not identify the landmarks.
The next day, as a team of FBI agents and U.S. military officers prepared to question her, Siddiqui grabbed a rifle, pointed it at an Army captain and yelled that she wanted blood, prosecutors said. An interpreter pushed the rifle aside as she fired two shots, which missed, they said. One of two shots fired by a soldier in response hit her in the torso.
Even after being hit, Siddiqui struggled and shouted in English "that she wanted to kill Americans" before the officers subdued her, the complaint said.
The family attorney, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, called the charges "a tall story."
Sharp also disputed the U.S. government's earlier claims that Siddiqui had gone underground for several years before her capture. The family suspects that after she vanished with her three children while in Pakistan in 2003, she was secretly held and possibly tortured before U.S. authorities finally brought charges to justify her detention.
"I believe she's become a terrible embarrassment to them, but she's not a terrorist," Sharp said. "When the truth comes out, people will see she did nothing wrong."
At the time of the incident, Afghan officials gave conflicting accounts of what transpired between Siddiqui and the U.S. interrogators. U.S. military officials declined comment.
At a 2004 news conference, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller III identified Siddiqui as one of seven people the FBI wanted to question about their suspected ties to al-Qaida.
U.S. authorities said at the time that Siddiqui had received a biology degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and wrote a doctoral thesis on neurological sciences at Brandeis University, outside Boston, in 2001 before returning to Pakistan shortly after Sept. 11.
Though they never alleged she was a full-fledged member of al-Qaida, authorities said they believed Siddiqui could be a "fixer," someone with knowledge of the United States who supported other operatives trying to slip into the country and plot attacks.
Siddiqui is charged with one count each of attempted murder and assault. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison on each charge.

http://bostonherald.com/news/region...oman_charged_in_New_York_with_soldier_attack/
 

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woman dubbed al-Qaida backer skips NY arraignment

woman dubbed al-Qaida backer skips NY arraignment
Minneapolis Star Tribune - 5 hours ago
By TOM HAYS , AP NEW YORK - An American-educated Pakistani woman who's been labeled an al-Qaida supporter refused to appear in federal court Thursday to answer charges that she tried to kill US soldiers and FBI agents after they detained her this ...
Hearing for woman linked to al-Qaida postponed Staten Island Advance - SILive.com
Aafia arraignment hearing postponed to Sept 22 The Post
 

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Feds: suspect is faking illness

NEW YORK - Federal prosecutors say a U.S.-trained scientist suspected of being an al-Qaeda operative is faking mental illness.
Aafia Siddiqui, a fugitive for five years until she was arrested in Afghanistan last year, is accused of seizing a gun and trying to kill U.S. soldiers and agents. Her lawyers claimed she was secretly held by the United States for years and traumatized in custody. Psychologists initially found she was unfit for trial but two psychiatrists now say she is manipulating the court.
 
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