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Aafia Siddiqui
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Terrorist
    (March 2, 1972- )
    Born in Karachi, Pakistan
    Cognitive neuroscientist
    Married the nephew of 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (February 2003)
    Disappeared from Karachi, Pakistan (March 2003)
    Named to the FBI's 'Most Wanted Terrorists' list (May 2004)
    Arrested in Afghanistan (July 2008)
    Reportedly grabbed an unattended rifle and started firing at her interrogators; was shot with a pistol in the struggle (July 18, 2008)
    Convicted of assault with intent to kill (February 3, 2010)
    Sentenced to 86 years in prison (September 23, 2010)
    Her first husband, Ahmjad Khan, claimed she was physically abusive.
    Their marriage broke up over her insistence that they move to Afghanistan and work for the mujahideen.
    Khalid Mohammed named her as an al-Qaeda operative.
    When she was arrested, her purse contained instruction on how to make explosives, chemical weapons and dirty bombs, notes about a 'mass casualty attack' that included a list of apparent targets in New York City, and a jar with two pounds of sodium cyanide.
    The government of Pakistan paid $2 million to hire three lawyers for her defense.
    She said she did not want anyone with a 'Zionist' background on the jury.
    She had to be repeatedly removed from court for disrupting her trial with shouting.
    The Taliban threatened to execute captured soldier Bowe Bergdahl in response to her conviction.
    She won a full scholarship to MIT.
    Several human rights organization suggested that she had been kidnapped by either US or Pakistani intelligence and secretly held as a 'ghost prisoner' between her 2003 disappearance and 2008 arrest.
    She was never charged by the US for actual terrorist activities.
    Her defense noted that her fingerprints were not on the rifle she was accused of firing and that the government's witnesses offered conflicting accounts of what happened during the shooting.
    After her conviction, she sent a message through her lawyers that she did not want 'violent protests or violent reprisals in Pakistan over this verdict.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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