Today in New York, Aafia Siddiqui goes to trial for allegations involving murder attempts on United States officers and employees and suggestions of involvement in international terrorism.
Siddiqui is a Pakistani neuroscientist who was also, incidentally, educated at MIT. She was found outside the compound of the Ghazni province’s governor and appeared to be equipped with explosive devices and literature on bomb-making. After she was apprehended by US officials, she attacked them during questioning and attempted to procure a soldier’s rifle. She then fired the rifle at various individuals.
It was later discovered that she had schematics for explosives and several destinations pinned for destruction, including areas such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Although officials stated that she was “delusional”, she was found competent to stand trial, which commences today.
The woman recently told court officials that she had no hand in the 9/11 attacks and suggested off-handedly that maybe Israel had something to do with it. If convicted of her crimes, Siddiqui could face a lifetime in prison — in the US, where life sentences generally are life sentences and not sixteen years.
Human Rights groups are now calling for the release of the woman stating that she had led her life in Boston as that of a quiet, industrious scientist yearning for the opportunity of education in a privileged country. Others beg to differ.
Nothing like an unstable would-be terrorist to liven things up first thing in the morning.