Monday, August 04, 2008

Disappeared in Pakistan, hysterical screams heard in Afghanistan, and now appearing in a New York court

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the MIT graduate of Pakistani descent, who the US FBI claims to be an Al-Qaeda affiliate disappeared in Karachi on March 30, 2003. At the time of her disappearance Siddiqui was with her three children, aged 9 years through six months; the four of them were in a taxi headed for the Karachi airport. It was believed that Aafia (Afia) siddiqui was kidnapped by the Pakistani intelligence agencies and was later handed over to the US FBI. For the last five years both Pakistani and the US authorities denied having any knowledge of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui or her three young children. Earlier in July 2008, British journalist Yvonee Ridley held a press conference in Islamabad where she claimed Aafia Siddiqui was being held by the Americans at Bagram airport base near Kabul. Two days ago Siddiqui’s American lawyer got confirmation from the FBI that Siddiqui was indeed in the US custody—Siddiqui’s location was still not disclosed. And now the Department of Justice has issued this press release today:
According to this press release Aafia Siddiqui will be presented before a United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, tomorrow (August 5). Siddiqui will be tried for attempted murder of US officers and employees, in Afghanistan.
So now there are two versions of this story. According to the FBI version, that agency had no knowledge of Aafia Siddiqui till July 17, 2008 when she was arrested outside Ghazni governor's compound, in Afghanistan. This version implies that on March 30, 2003 Aafia Siddiqui ran away from Karachi to join Taliban/Al-Qaeda. Then, according to this official version, on July 18, Siddiqui tried to kill American soldiers by grabbing a rifle left near her by mistake, and that she would be tried in a New York court on the charges of attempted murder.
And then you have the Karachi-street version according to which Pakistani intelligence agencies kidnapped Aafia Siddiqui on March 30, 2003 and handed her over to the US FBI. The FBI kept Siddiqui at the detention center at Bagram airport base in Afghanistan. Because of the recent uproar after Yvonne Ridley’s press conference the FBI had no choice but to produce Aafia Siddiqui and come up with a "fabricated" official story.