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"Al-Qaeda Lady' Dr. Aafia not charged with links to Al Qaeda but convicted of trying to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan

By       Message Abdus Sattar Ghazali     Permalink
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A jury in New York has found Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist once dubbed by the US media as Al-Qaeda Lady, guilty of attempted murder charges on all seven counts listed in the complaint against her. She was tried on charges of trying to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan on July 28, 2008.

The decision on February 3rd came two days after Dr. Siddiqui's case was sent to the jury, which was composed of 7 women and five men, as soon as prosecution and defense lawyers wrapped up their closing arguments.

According to the prosecution, Dr. Siddiqui, 37, grabbed a US warrant officer's rifle while she was detained for questioning in July 2008 at a police station in Ghazni and fired at FBI agents and military personnel as she was pushed down to the ground. None of the US soldiers or FBI agents were injured, but US-educated Dr.Siddiqui was shot. She was charged with attempted murder and assault and other crimes.

Prosecutors claimed that Siddiqui was arrested by the Afghan police in the town of Ghazni with notes indicating plans to attack the Statue of Liberty and other New York landmarks. However, she was not charged with terrorism but charged only with attempted murder.

During the trial, the prosecution admitted that there were no fingerprints on the gun she was supposed to have wrested from one of the soldiers. No bullets were recovered from the cell.

Although she was not charged with terrorism, prosecutors described Aafia as a would-be terrorist who had also plotted to bomb New York. In her closing arguments, defence attorney Linda Moreno accused the prosecutors of trying to play on the jury's fears. "They want to scare you into convicting Aafia Siddiqui," she said.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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