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Aafia Siddiqui Arrested for Attempting to Kill United States Officers in Afghanistan

2008-08-04 19:40:00

Aafia Siddiqui Arrested for Attempting to Kill United States Officers in Afghanistan

    NEW YORK, Aug. 4 /EMWNews/ -- Michael J. Garcia, the

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mark J.

Mershon, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the

Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police

Commissioner of the City of New York, announced today the arrest of Aafia

Siddiqui on charges related to her attempted murder and assault of United

States officers and employees in Afghanistan. Siddiqui arrived in New York

this evening and will be presented tomorrow before a United States

Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern

District of New York. According to the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal


    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.

    On July 18, 2008, a party of United States personnel, including two FBI

special agents, a United States Army Warrant Officer, a United States Army

Captain, and United States military interpreters, arrived at the Afghan

facility where Siddiqui was being held. The personnel entered a second

floor meeting room -- unaware that Siddiqui was being held there,

unsecured, behind a curtain.

    The Warrant Officer took a seat and placed his United States Army M-4

rifle on the floor next to the curtain. Shortly after the meeting began,

the Captain heard a woman yell from the curtain and, when he turned, saw

Siddiqui holding the Warrant Officer's rifle and pointing it directly at

the Captain. Siddiqui said, "May the blood of [unintelligible] be directly

on your [unintelligible, possibly head or hands]." The interpreter seated

closest to Siddiqui lunged at her and pushed the rifle away as Siddiqui

pulled the trigger. Siddiqui fired at least two shots but no one was hit.

The Warrant Officer returned fire with a 9 mm service pistol and fired

approximately two rounds at Siddiqui's torso, hitting her at least once.

    Despite being shot, Siddiqui struggled with the officers when they

tried to subdue her; she struck and kicked them while shouting in English

that she wanted to kill Americans. After being subdued, Siddiqui

temporarily lost consciousness. The agents and officers then rendered

medical aid to Siddiqui.

    Siddiqui, a 36-year-old Pakistani woman who previously resided in the

United States, is charged in a criminal Complaint filed in the Southern

District of New York with one count of attempting to kill United States

officers and employees and one count of assaulting United States officers

and employees. If convicted, Siddiqui faces a maximum sentence of 20 years

in prison on each charge.

    Mr. Garcia praised the investigative work of the Joint Terrorism Task

Force ("JTTF"), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York City

Police Department. He also expressed his gratitude to the Office of

International Affairs of the Criminal Division of the United States

Department of Justice and the United States Department of State for their

assistance in the case. Mr. Garcia also thanked the United States

Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts for their assistance.

    Mr. Garcia said that the investigation is continuing.

    Assistant United States Attorney Christopher L. Lavigne is in charge of

the prosecution.

    The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely

accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven


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Blake Masterson

Freelance Writer, Journalist and Father of 5

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