Skip to comments.FBI concedes Aafia Siddiqui in US custody: lawyer
Posted on 08/04/2008 3:28:15 PM PDT by Dog
WASHINGTON, Aug 3: Five years after her mysterious disappearance in Karachi, the FBI has finally conceded that an MIT-trained Pakistani neuroscientist is alive and is in US custody in Afghanistan.
Aafia Siddiqui, 36, disappeared with her three children while visiting her parents home in Karachi in March 2003, around the same time the FBI announced that it wanted to question her over her alleged links to Al Qaeda.
Her familys lawyer Elaine Whitfield Sharp said she believed recent media reports about Mrs Siddiquis incarceration increased pressure on the US and Pakistani authorities to divulge more information.
I dont believe that they just found Aafia, she said. I believe that she was there all along.
The fate of her three young, American-born children is still unknown.
Before her disappearance, Mrs Siddiqui lived in a Boston suburb of Roxbury and studied at Brandeis University as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In a 2006 report, Amnesty International listed Mrs Siddiqui as among a number of disappeared suspects in the war on terrorism. On July 6, 2007, AI listed Mrs Siddiqui as a possible CIA secret detainee, although she was still on the FBIs Seeking Information - Terrorism list. Late last week, Mrs Siddiquis photo still appeared on the FBIs list of people wanted for questioning.
Since no charges were ever filed against her, human rights groups treated her case as that of extrajudicial detention, although no government ever claimed detaining her.
Even the FBI does not mention any charges in the notice seeking information about her. Although the FBI has no information indicating this individual is connected to specific terrorist activities, the FBI would like to locate and question this individual, says the notice.
The gray lady of Bagram: On July 7, a British journalist Yvonne Ridley told a news conference in Islamabad that a Pakistani woman had been held in solitary confinement for years at the Bagram US base near Kabul. The identity of this prisoner remains unconfirmed. She has been nicknamed the gray lady of Bagram. Ms Ridley, however, speculated that she was Aafia Siddiqui.
Moazzam Begg and several other former captives also have reported that a female prisoner, prisoner 650, was held in Bagram. The former captives claim that she has lost her sanity and cries all the time.
Although it is still not clear if the gray lady of Bagram is Aafia Siddiqui, her familys attorney told reporters on Friday that the FBI had finally conceded that Mrs Siddiqui is in US custody.
It has been confirmed by the FBI that Aafia Siddiqui is alive, said Ms Sharp, who said she spoke to an FBI official on Thursday.
She is injured but alive, and she is in Afghanistan.
For five years, US and Pakistani authorities denied knowing her whereabouts. But human rights groups and Mrs Siddiquis relatives had long suspected that she had been captured in Karachi and secretly taken into custody.
On Thursday, an FBI official visited Mrs Siddiquis brother in Houston to deliver the news that she was alive and in custody, Ms Sharp said.
FBI officials, however, would not say who was holding her or reveal the fate of her children.
If shes in US custody, they want to know where she is, Ms Sharp said. Who has got her? And does she need medical care?
The FBI and the Justice Department declined to comment.
US military documents declassified in recent years suggest that Mrs Siddiqui is suspected of having ties to several key terrorism suspects being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
She is believed to have links to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and allegedly arranged travel documents for another suspected terrorist.
Papers in Guantanamo Bay also indicate that she married Ali Abd Al Aziz Ali, an alleged Al Qaeda facilitator who intended to blow up petrol stations or poison water reservoirs in the United States.
The three men were among 14 high-value suspects brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2006 after years of secret detention in CIA prisons in Eastern Europe.
Some background on her...
Scratch another one from the wanted list..
My naive and inexpert guess is that Siddiqui may be in custody because
she’s “dishing” on some terrorists/Al-Queda and needs the protection
of the USA for herself and her children.
(VOA’s speculation is based on this passage from this passage from
the Wikipedia article linked in post #1)
Her ex-husband, anæsthesiologist Mohammed Amjad Khan, is now working
as a physician at a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Khan and Siddiqui are
divorced following vehement disagreements over how their three children
should be educated. Siddiqui wanted the children to be educated in
the West and to live in America. Khan wanted the children to be
educated in Pakistan under strict Muslim supervision.
Khan’s family lives in a wealthy compound in Karachi.
If the article didn’t have all the anti-CIA pablum and peacenik groups spokesmen, I would construct the following theory in my head rather than blaming the US first:
“Hmmm. Perhaps being an associate of KSM she went on the lam to avoid capture, hid her kids with surrogates and got mixed up with other malicious folks like KSM and might have gotten herself a bit roughed up on the dark side....and...just maybe someone has recently turned her in and the US is appropriately acknowledging it.”
In fact, I bet there are thousands of ways to read this before I get to the “US gulag” assumption.
And why do they insist on randomly attributing badness to either the FBI (domestic) and CIA (foreign) without distinction?
If she assisted Al Qaeda, then she is an illegal combatant. She should have been given a summary trial in the field, at the point of capture, and then hanged.
Quite a handle.
Anyway, I really don't give a rats ass about this terrorist...being woman or man does not matter one bit. If she's suffering in Gitmo or anywhere else is the result of her poor decisions.
You sleep with dogs...
I'm sure his friends just call him "bubba".
You might be on to something. But why “acknowledge” she is still alive? If she were working for us now, they would want it assumed that she died, even staging a fake death if necessary. Unless they are either trying to flush al Queda associates out into the open or trying to pressure her into giving up more. Doesn’t make too much sense.
Isn’t it interesting that she is called the ‘gray lady’! How fitting that a terrorist would be named after the NEW YORK TIMES.
Ugh, just kill her and be done with it.
Why is it Amnesty International has had NOTHING to say about captured, tortured, murdered US soldiers and citizens by Al Qaeda in Iraq?
You’d think that they were impartial in this whole war. You’d think...
This sounded familiar.
THE JAWA REPORT - blog: "GOOD NEWS: PAKISTAN PARLIAMENT UNIFIED IN CONSPIRACY THEORY; DEMANDS RELEASE OF AL-QAEDA OPERATIVE" (BLOG ENTRY SNIPPET: "How big is this? The first point of order a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press briefing today was not about Musharraf's resignation or about the dramatic rise in Taliban terror attacks, it was about what steps Pakistan was taking in securing the release of Aafia Siddiqui. The thought never crossed their minds that maybe the reason that Aafia Siddiqui and her children have been missing these long years was because she didn't want to be found? She was, after all, fingered by none other than 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shiekh Mohammad as having some role in the al Qaeda network.") (August 21, 2008)
US DOJ.gov/opa - Press Release: New York - "AAFIA SIDDIQUI ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTING TO KILL UNITED STATES OFFICERS IN AFGHANISTAN" (PRESS RELEASE SNIPPET: "On July 17, 2008, officers of the Ghazni Province Afghanistan National Police ("ANP") observed Siddiqui outside the Ghazni governor's compound. ANP officers questioned Siddiqui, regarded her as suspicious, and searched her handbag. In it, they found numerous documents describing the creation of explosives, as well as excerpts from the Anarchist's Arsenal. Siddiqui's papers included descriptions of various landmarks in the United States, including in New York City. Siddiqui was also in possession of substances that were sealed in bottles and glass jars.") (August 4, 2008)