As-Salaamu-Alaikum Dear Readers, please remember to make a special duaa for Sister Aafia Siddiqui during these Mubarak days of Shabaan and Ramadaan. Her plight thus far is one of torture, pain and misery. Only her imaan holds her together. She has not seen her family in years, cannot make a phone call to them either. She has been tortured, abused, hurt, too many times already.
There are many interviews that went about this weekend as her sister Dr Fowzia Siddiqui was in South Africa.
Keep the oppressed ummah in your duas this Ramadaan, in sha Allah.
The Nightmare Story Of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
By Judy BelloCountercurrents.org
The Afghan police in Ghazni notice a woman on the street. Something draws their attention to her. She doesn't appear to belong to the place. Perhaps she isn't dressed in the local style. She is on the street in the early afternoon on a Friday when most men are at the Mosque and women are in their homes. The Police say she seemed out of place, lost. The police would later say that she was loitering after dark, but among the court documents, there is an interview with the shopkeeper in front of whose store she was detained. He says that he wasn't in the store because it was Friday, he was attending the prayer service at the Mosque. It would have been between 1 pm and 3:30 pm. He swears the woman is a stranger and he has never seen her before. Though they will later say that they only approached her because she seemed out of place, they check his shop and even his phone to make sure. There is nothing on his phone except some pornographic images of white girls. He is innocent. 
So what did attract their attention? Most likely we will never know for sure. Maybe its her ap parent disorientation as they will later state, or perhaps it is just that they don't recognize her. Maybe they have been tipped off to look for her. When they confront her, she is startled and defensive. She screams at them not to touch her. She accuses them of being Americans or American operatives.  It is clear that neither she nor the boy speaks the local language, so a translator is called. A WikiLeaked document identifies a shopkeeper who was enlisted as translator. He says that she shouts at the police and curses them in Urdu. She calls on Allah and demands that they not touch her. Of course the same document says that she was picked up after dark.  If they are just asking what she is doing, why is she so distressed? Have they physically detained her, or is she just panicked by their uniforms? They take her in for questioning.
They have found a number of incriminating objects in her handbag. According to a document later published through Wikileaks, her purse contains “numerous documents on how to build explosives, chemical weapon use, targeting US military assets, excerpts from the Anarchist's Arsenal and a 1 GB (gigabyte) thumb drive with additional related material” along with “unknown chemical materials sealed in containers”.  During the course of the interrogation she is severely beaten. She admits that she is a suicide bomber whose target is the local governor. Apparently his home is nearby the place she was detained. She has a passport, which apparently has her true identity because they recognize her name as being on the FBI Most Wanted List . (Pretty good reckoning for local Afghan National Police who don't speak English). Perhaps it just confirms that she is definitely the one they were looking for. They call Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Americans at Bagram, as well as the Governor she was supposedly targeting, who immediately takes advantage of the opportunity for publicity and calls a press conference. 
Soon the Americans arrived, FBI agents with soldiers and translators in tow, to collect their prey. She is sitting on a bed behind a curtain in a rather small room. She is bruised and exhausted. Perhaps she has dozed and is awakened by the entrance of as many as 10 men into the small room where she is being held. Now she is alert. It is interesting that the interrogators have brought along translators, but perhaps they need them to communicate with the Afghan police. The woman speaks good enough English to get a Masters Degree from MIT and PhD from Brandeis University. She was a dynamo then, busy with her studies and her charities and her family. Now she is exhausted, beaten, frightened, alone in a room full of heavily armed men.
One of the soldiers seats himself near the curtain and sets his automatic rifle on the floor near his chair. He will later say that it hadn't occurred to him that the prisoner was in the room.  I suppose that is understandable. In the world these Americans normally inhabit, prisoners are regularly shackled and hooded. They are brought into a room when everyone else is in place like chained animals being brought into the ring at a circus. Even so, it is a pretty serious breach of responsibility for the Sergeant in charge of the security team to lay his rifle on the floor next to a closed curtain.
This prisoner is curious about the commotion and anxious. She wants to know what is happening. She rises and steps forward. She peeks through the curtain . . . Snatches the gun . . . . and Fires the gun . . . according to the Americans . Someone yells out “The prisoner is free.” Shots ring out. She falls to the ground, wounded, with a bullet in her belly and one in her side. When her attackers come to rescue her, she curses them in English and screams at them not to touch her, even as they wrestle her to the ground. Later, in court, the Americans will swear that she took the gun and fired it. They will say they had no choice but to defend themselves. The Afghans will state that they didn't see what happened but they heard shots fired. The woman says that she came to the curtain to see what was going on.
The prisoner is brought to Bagram Hospital for surgery, where a portion of her intestines is removed, along with a kidney. She is in shock and near death on arrival. Numerous transfusions are required to bring her back and stabilize her prior to and during the emergency surgery. Afterwards, she is shackled, hand and foot, to her bed. Imagine, if you will, a surgery where the patient is cut from breastbone to pubis, and then shackled to a bed on her back, bound hand and foot like a crucifixion. A pair of watchful FBI Agents stay by her side, encouraging her to talk about herself, about her life.  She will later refer to him as her only friends. She is heavily sedated with pain killers, and one can imagine they might be very helpful, given her restraints, and comforting, given her state of utter dependence and aloneness. A week later, she is flown to New York and arraigned before the Southern Court of New York in a wheelchair on separate charges obtaining a lethal weapon and of attempting to kill each person in the room.
This terrible story is like something out of a nightmare, or a bad novel. But it is a true story, in so far as you can find the truth of events that are disputed and cloaked in the secrecy of multiple ‘security operations'. At least it is part of the story of the ordeal of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman, born into an upper middle class family with conservative religious values, who placed a high value on education and on service. It is a part of the story of a young woman who came to the US, initially to Texas, later to Massachusetts to attend various colleges, eventually achieving a degree in ‘Neuroscience', though she was did not enjoy biology and chemistry but preferred the study of psychology and education. In fact she had prepared for a career teaching developmentally disabled children. 
Aafia Siddiqui had lived in the US for more than 10 years, married here and borne her children here. She carried the family standard as she engaged in teaching and preaching Islam as the clearest and brightest truth and supporting Muslim Charities in war zones like Croatia and later, Afghanistan; sending Qur'ans to prisoners and teaching children at an impoverished inner city mosque. But something has gone terribly wrong to bring our heroine her to this terrible pass. And it will only get worse.
Returning to the present story, common sense would indicate it would have been very difficult for this small battered woman to have lifted and fired a powerful automatic rifle. The least amount of compassion would indicate that even if she did take the gun, even if she managed to fire the high power automatic rifle without being knocked to the ground, the action would have been in the service of escape rather than a murderous rampage. However, there is no forensic evidence whatsoever that she held the gun or fired it. No one was shot except the prisoner herself. There were no bullet holes in the walls or ceiling of the small room, and no shell casings recovered from the floor. There were no fingerprints on the gun, and there was no gunpowder on the prisoner's hands or the curtain in front of her. [Court Documents] Yet a year later, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani national who never should have been extradited from Afghanistan to the US in the first place, a bright, well educated person with a PhD from Brandeis University, now incapable if a consistent description of where she had been for the past 5 years, incapable of recognizing her own son, was convicted of separate counts of attempted murder and assault for every American in the room, sentenced to 86 years in prison and incarcerated in Carswell Medical Center in Texas.
According to Cornell University Legal Information Institute , under Federal law: the maximum sentence for manslaughter
2. Court Document, USA vs. Aafia Siddiqui, Document #256 ( Aafia Siddiqui's testimony to FBI agents at her bedside while in Bagram hospital after her surgery )
3. Sentencing, USA vs. Aafia Siddiqui, Document #314
4. Case Summary, 1:08-cr-00826-RMB USA v. Siddiqui, “Count 1: Conspiracy ( with whom? ) to Kill A US Citizen  Count 4: Violent Crime/Drugs/ Machine Gun (!) (Use of a firearm during crime of violence (?) “ — Emphasis and red comments interjected are mine.
5. Definitions from Findlaw.com
6. Other crimes in 18 U.S.C.
1. Cornell LII: Trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor
Judy Bello is currently a full time activist thanks to the harsh and unforgiving work environment in the Software Development Industry. Finally free to focus on her own interests in her home office, she is active with The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, and with Fellowship of Reconciliation Middle East Task Force and often posts on their blog at http://forusa.org . She has been to Iran twice with FOR Peace Delegations, and spent a month in the Kurdish city of Suleimaniya in 2009. Her personal blog, Towards a Global Perspective, is at http://blog.papillonweb.net and she is administers the Upstate anti-Drone Coalition website at http://upstatedroneaction.org . She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org