Aafia Siddiqui, wearing a burgundy head scarf and suffering from a gunshot wound, was ordered held without bail on charges of attempted murder and assault stemming from the July incident. She had been arrested Monday in Afghanistan and flown to New York to be formally charged.
Prosecutors allege Siddiqui, 36, was stopped by police on July 17 outside a government building in central Afghanistan's
Ghazni province. Police searched her handbag and discovered documents containing recipes for explosives and chemical weapons and describing "various landmarks in the United States, including New York City," according to a criminal complaint, which did not identify the landmarks.
Siddiqui also was carrying "chemical substances in gel and liquid form that were sealed in bottles and glass jars," the complaint said without elaborating.
The next day, as a team of
FBI agents and U.S. military officers prepared to question Siddiqui, she snatched a soldier's rifle and pointed it at an Army captain, prosecutors said. An interpreter pushed the rifle aside as she fired two shots, which missed, they said. One of two shots fired by a soldier in response hit her in one of her hips.
Even after being hit, Siddiqui struggled and shouted in English that she wanted "to kill Americans" before the officers subdued her, the complaint said.
Asked by the judge if she understood the charges, she replied in a soft voice, "I understand them." At a 2004 news conference, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller III identified Siddiqui as one of seven people the FBI wanted to question about their suspected ties to al-Qaida — an allegation her family has vehemently denied.
U.S. authorities said at the time that Siddiqui had received a biology degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and had written a doctoral thesis on neurological sciences at Brandeis University, outside Boston. They said they believed she returned to Pakistan shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks and later vanished for several years.
Though they never alleged Siddiqui was a full-fledged member of al-Qaida, they said they believed she could be a "fixer," someone with knowledge of the United States who supported other operatives trying to slip into the country and plot attacks. If convicted, Siddiqui faces up to 20 years in prison on each charge.
Terrroist Majid Khan appears to have met with Aafia Saddiqui who is a MIT grad in microbiology, she had access to Anthrax while working at Brandeis Univ in Boston. Assistant United States Attorney Eric Bruce claimed that MIT graduate Aafia Siddiqui was willing to help with an anthrax attack. Eric Bruce repeatedly referred to a planned chemical attack by Majid Khan but never described the plot or when and where it would occur. He said a woman affiliated with al-Qaida opened a Maryland post office box in the names of herself and Majid Khan so immigration documents could be sent there.
Bruce said the woman (Aafia Siddiqui), if asked, would "help carry out a deadly Anthrax attack against the United States." Her whereabouts were unknown at that time. But it was the only mention of Anthrax in his opening statements and the prosecutor never said whether Anthrax was part of Majid Khan's plot.
Aafia Siddiqui rented P.O. Box #187XX Baltimore MD 21206 for terrorist Majid Khan while he was in Pakistan meeting with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Al Qaeda facilitator Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali , otherwise known as Ammar al-Baluchi, states that he ordered Aafia Siddiqui to help get travel documents for Majid Khan who intended to blow up gas stations and bridges and poison reservoirs in the United States.
His (Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali) biography also states that he married Siddiqui shortly before his capture, an allegation that is true, sheds light on Aafia Siddiqui's relationship to top Al Qaeda planners like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is Ammar al-Baluchi's uncle.
WBI Private Detecive Agecny