An American-educated Pakistani neuroscientist is denying charges that she tried to murder Americans in Afghanistan.
Federal prosecutors in a New York court accused the defendant, Aafia Siddiqui, of attempting to shoot a group of Americans after seizing one of their rifles while she was detained at an Afghan police station. Her attorneys said the idea that a 90-pound woman could get the better of six trained soldiers and FBI agents is “ridiculous.” Her attorneys also claimed that America has secretly kept Ms. Siddiqui in custody for the last five years.
According to a complaint released Monday, Ms. Siddiqui, who has alleged ties to Al Qaeda, was arrested in Afghanistan last month after officers observed her loitering near a governor’s compound. The complaint said a search of her handbag uncovered documents describing the production of explosives as well as chemical, biological, and radiological weapons. The papers also included descriptions of American landmarks, including some in New York City.
The complaint states that an American soldier put his rifle on the floor next to him, unaware that Ms. Siddiqui was being held behind a curtain nearby. Ms. Siddiqui allegedly grabbed the gun and tried to kill the Americans in the room, but missed as they wrestled it away and shot her in the torso.
Her attorney, Elizabeth Fink, said in court today that the prosecution’s account is hard to swallow.
“They put a gun down by their feet, and they didn’t realize when the weapon is not there?” she asked at a press conference held outside the courthouse. “Why was an alleged terrorist put behind curtains and not behind bars?”…
The defense is self-contradictory. “Her attorneys said the idea that a 90-pound woman could get the better of six trained soldiers and FBI agents is ‘ridiculous.'” But maybe that’s just what the soldiers and agents were thinking, and why they were careless. And if a 90-pound woman got hold of a gun, it wouldn’t be hard for her to get the better of six trained soldiers and FBI agents.