Opinion: How Aafia Siddiqui became an icon for terrorists

Siddiqui’s lawyer, Marwa Elbially, issued a statement on Saturday condemning the hostage-taking in the Beth Israel congregation and urging the person responsible to release the hostages and surrender to law enforcement.

To most Americans, Siddiqui is an obscure figure, but among Islamist terrorists the mother of three is an icon.
After ISIS kidnapped American journalist James Foley in Syria in 2012, the terrorists sent an email to Foley’s family in August 2014 with demands for the release of Siddiqui.
In 2009, US soldier Bowe Bergdahl was taken hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan. One of the The Taliban’s key demands for Bergdhal’s release Siddiqui was released from U.S. custody.
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Siddiqui, a light Pakistani-American in his mid-thirties, was arrested in eastern Afghanistan in July 2008. U.S. officials said she carried documents on the manufacture of “dirty bombs”, which are radiological weapons. The said she also had notes on attacks on New York City landmarks, such as the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Siddiqui, der lived in the United States between 1991 and 2002, graduated from top American universities with a degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in neuroscience from Brandeis.
After Siddiqui was arrested in Ghazi Afghanistan, she was questioned on July 18, 2008 by U.S. soldiers and FBI officials. During the interrogation, Siddiqui found an unsupervised rifle and fired it at a U.S. officer and other members of the interview team. She also attacked an FBI agent and a U.S. Army officer as they tried to disarm her. She was subsequently charged with attempted murder.
In his native Pakistan, Siddiqui is being dismissed by some as a victim of the “war on terror”. Thousands took to the streets in protest as she was convicted of attempted murder of the U.S. Army Officer in 2010.

Now, Siddiqui’s prison in Texas is once again being used as a justification for terrorism against Americans, this time in the United States itself.

U.S. troops may all have left Afghanistan in August, but the United States’ long war there continues to resonate today.


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