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Aafia Siddiqui; a prized commodity in the global war of terror

January 25, 2010

Aafia Siddiqui’s ‘trial’ continued today and is expected to be over by the middle of next week.   Petra Bartosiewicz is providing daily coverage of this farce for Cageprisoners.

Edit – the Cageprisoners link is broken but coverage can be found here.

Despite not wanting to appear in court due to strip and cavity searches before and after transfers between prison and court, Siddiqui has been required to be in the court building for each and every day of this farce.  Not only is this an insult to any woman, but it would be impossible to believe that Siddiqui hasn’t been raped and sexually abused during all her years in captivity which makes this behaviour even more cruel.

Questions have been raised over Siddiqui’s capacity to be tried, but have obviously been dismissed in true American style.  It is impossible that the truth about Siddiqui will come out at this ‘trial’ – who wants to hear of the torture of a woman who was then shot to get around the refusal of Afghan police to hand her over to American authority?  It is also just as impossible that we will ever know where two of her three children are – most likely killed somewhere along the way.

More background information at Ten Percent,, and a very long and interesting article from Harper’s regarding what is known and unknown of Aafia Siddiqui.


When I first read the U.S. government’s complaint against Aafia Siddiqui, who is awaiting trial in a Brooklyn detention center on charges of attempting to murder a group of U.S. Army officers and FBI agents in Afghanistan, the case it described was so impossibly convoluted—and yet so absurdly incriminating—that I simply assumed she was innocent. According to the complaint, on the evening of July 17, 2008, several local policemen discovered Siddiqui and a young boy loitering about a public square in Ghazni. She was carrying instructions for creating “weapons involving biological material,” descriptions of U.S. “military assets,” and numerous unnamed “chemical substances in gel and liquid form that were sealed in bottles and glass jars.” Siddiqui, an MIT-trained neuroscientist who lived in the United States for eleven years, had vanished from her hometown in Pakistan in 2003, along with all three of her children, two of whom were U.S. citizens. The complaint does not address where she was those five years or why she suddenly decided to emerge into a public square outside Pakistan and far from the United States, nor does it address why she would do so in the company of her American son. Various reports had her married to a high-level Al Qaeda operative, running diamonds out of Liberia for Osama bin Laden, and abetting the entry of terrorists into the United States. But those reports were countered by rumors that Siddiqui actually had spent the previous five years in the maw of the U.S. intelligence system—that she was a ghost prisoner, kidnapped by Pakistani spies, held in secret detention at a U.S. military prison, interrogated until she could provide no further intelligence, then spat back into the world in the manner most likely to render her story implausible. These dueling narratives of terrorist intrigue and imperial overreach were only further confounded when Siddiqui finally appeared before a judge in a Manhattan courtroom on August 5. Now, two weeks after her capture, she was bandaged and doubled over in a wheelchair, barely able to speak, because—somehow—she had been shot in the stomach by one of the very soldiers she stands accused of attempting to murder. More

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2010 11:44

    Oh that poor, poor woman. 😦

  2. January 27, 2010 11:54

    The whole thing is truly dreadful.


  1. Women and the military « Earwicga
  2. Fear Vs Fact in Aafia Siddiqui Case « Earwicga

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