Aafia Siddiqui Husband: Aafia Siddiqui is a well-known figure in the field of neuroscience and cognitive science, and her husband, Ahmed Siddiqui, is a famous physicist who works on the development of theoretical computer science. Recently, there has been overwhelming speculation about Aafia Siddiqui’s alleged involvement in terrorist activities, and her husband has come out to defend her. In this article, we’ll explore the allegations against Aafia Siddiqui and her husband, and give you an overview of their lives and work.
Aafia Siddiqui Husband:
Aafia Siddiqui is a Pakistani scientist and engineer who was held in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camp for over seven years without charge or trial. She was released in September 2008 after a long legal battle and has since become a prominent activist for the rights of prisoners of war and the human rights of women in general.
The Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, was the scene of a hostage-taking on Saturday by a man who demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is presently serving an 86-year jail term for the attempted murder of American soldiers and FBI agents who apprehended her.
According to The Daily Beast news site, a former lawyer of Siddiqui’s true brother maintained that he was not involved in the hostage situation, despite earlier reports suggesting that the hostage-taker was Siddiqui’s brother. She issued a statement after learning about the event ordering the hostage-taker to stop, it was said.
According to Harper’s Magazine, Siddiqui requested her husband move the family to Pakistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and when they did, she intended to relocate to the nation’s border with Afghanistan to give medical assistance to Taliban insurgents waging war against the US.
According to reports in Harper’s, The Guardian, and Boston Magazine, after becoming more and more interested in Islam and jihad, Siddiqui started to draw the attention of the FBI when she and her husband spent $10,000 on body armor, night-vision goggles, and militant manuals like Fugitive, Advanced Fugitive, The Anarchist’s Arsenal, and How to Make C-4.
According to Deborah Scroggins in Wanted Women, Siddiqui’s marriage started to break down because of physical abuse from Khan and her increasing interest in jihad. The couple finally got divorced in 2002.
Khan had reason to believe that Siddiqui had been associated with extremist organizations, and in 2003, she wed Ammar al-Baluchi, who was thought to be an al-Qaeda member. According to the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks, has a nephew named Baluchi.
The US government said that Siddiqui was a part of an al-Qaeda cell’s plan to carry out operations in Pakistan, the UK, and the US. According to Scroggins, the cell, directed by KSM, intended to sabotage subterranean storage tanks, gas stations, and water treatment plants.
When Siddiqui disappeared with her children on what she claimed was a trip to Islamabad, the FBI released a “worldwide alert” for her and Khan, according to Scroggins and the BBC.
In 2004, then-attorney-general John Ashcroft said Siddiqui was one of the suspects on the FBI’s list of the seven most-wanted al-Qaeda fugitives and was a “clear and present danger to the US,” Scroggins and The Los Angeles Times wrote.
Siddiqui was later arrested by US Army troops and FBI agents in Ghazni, Afghanistan. During her questioning, she allegedly picked up one of the soldiers’ rifles and fired two shots at them, shouting “Allah Akbar,” The New York Times reported. The soldiers successfully disarmed her.
Ariella Marsden contributed to this report.
What happened to Aafia Siddiqui?
Siddiqui was born in Pakistan to a Sunni Muslim family. For a period from 1990, she studied in the United States and obtained a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brandeis University in 2001. She returned to Pakistan for a time following the 9/11 attacks and again in 2003 during the war in Afghanistan.
Khalid Sheikh Muhammad named her a courier and financier for Al-Qaeda, and she was placed on the FBI Seeking Information – Terrorism list; she remains the only woman to have been featured on the list. Around this time, she and her three children were allegedly kidnapped in Pakistan.
Five years later, she reappeared in Ghazni, Afghanistan, and was arrested by Afghan police and held for questioning by the FBI. While in custody, Siddiqui allegedly told the FBI she had gone into hiding but later disavowed her testimony and stated she had been abducted and imprisoned. Supporters believe she was held captive at Bagram Air Force Base as a ghost prisoner, charges the US government denies.
During the second day in custody, she allegedly shot at visiting U.S. FBI and Army personnel with an M4 carbine one of the interrogators had placed on the floor by his feet. She was shot in the torso when a warrant officer returned fire. She was hospitalized, treated, and then extradited to the US, wherein in September 2008 she was indicted on charges of assault and attempted murder of a US soldier in the police station in Ghazni, charges she denied.
She was convicted on 3 February 2010 and later sentenced to 86 years in prison, despite her defense noting that the nine government witnesses offered conflicting accounts of how many people were in the room, where they were positioned, and how many shots were fired.
Her case has been called a “flashpoint of Pakistani-American tensions” and “one of the most mysterious in a secret war dense with mysteries”. In Pakistan, her arrest and conviction was seen by the public as an “attack on Islam and Muslims”, and occasioned large protests throughout the country; while in the US, she was considered by some to be especially dangerous as “one of the few alleged Al Qaeda associates with the ability to move about the United States undetected, and the scientific expertise to carry out a sophisticated attack”.
She has been termed “Lady al-Qaeda” by a number of media organizations due to her alleged affiliation with Islamists. Pakistani news media called the trial a “farce”, while other Pakistanis labeled this reaction “knee-jerk Pakistani nationalism”. The Pakistani Prime Minister at that time, Yousaf Raza Gillani, and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif promised to push for her release.
ISIS has offered to trade her for prisoners on two occasions: once for James Foley and once for Kayla Mueller.
Daughter of the Nation
In Pakistan, Siddiqui’s case has attracted enormous support from across the political divide.
In 2018, the Pakistani Senate unanimously passed a resolution dubbing her “Daughter of the Nation”. On several occasions, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has extended his support for negotiating Siddiqui’s release with the US government.
In July 2019, after meeting with the then US President Donald Trump, Khan told the media that releasing Shakeel Afridi in exchange for Siddiqui could be a possibility in the future.
Afridi is a Pakistani surgeon allegedly recruited by the CIA to track and trace Osama bin Laden, eventually leading to bin Laden’s killing.
In 2012, Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in prison under a colonial-era treason law by a Pakistani court. His appeal is still pending before a high court in Peshawar.
Maliha Shahid, spokesperson for the Pakistani embassy in Washington, said Siddiqui’s case is still a priority for the government.
“Her detention and conditions of incarceration remain a subject of discussion between the governments of Pakistan and the US. Our consul general in Houston pays regular visits to Dr Aafia to ensure her wellbeing,” Shahid told Al Jazeera.
Claim of innocence
Some, however, say Siddiqui was wrongly accused.
“Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is serving an unjust 86-year prison sentence for a crime that she did not commit,” Faizan Syed, executive director of the Dallas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said last fall, according to the Morning News.
CAIR condemned Saturday’s hostage situation. National deputy director Edward Ahmed Mitchell called it “antisemitic” and an “unacceptable act of evil.”
But others claim Siddiqui was rightly prosecuted and convicted.
“From everything I’ve read … I think she’s where she belongs,” U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Texas, said.
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