FBI composite for wanted poster / Wikimedia Commons
MIT-educated neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui has been sentenced to 86 years in prison for what her lawyers called a “freak out.” Siddiqui says she was abducted and secretly held for five years before she snapped, grabbed a gun and opened fire on her captors.
No one was injured, except Siddiqui, who was shot.
The U.S. disputes Siddiqui’s claims, saying she was arrested in Afghanistan two years ago with bomb making notes and shouted “death to Americans” when she started shooting.
Siddiqui, 38, was convicted earlier this year of two charges of attempted murder after she shot at US soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan in 2008 as she tried to escape from custody. Her case has drawn pleas from the Pakistani government for her release and divided legal opinion after Siddiqui claimed that she was abducted by US agents and held incommunicado in Afghanistan for five years.
Although the FBI accused her of supporting al-Qaida she was not charged with terrorism. However prosecutors alleged that when she was arrested in Afghanistan two years ago she was found with instructions on how to assemble bombs and weapons and a list of New York city landmarks.
Siddiqui was convicted over an incident in an Afghan police station. Prosecutors said that as US agents were about to interrogate her she grabbed an assault rifle and opened fire while shouting: “Death to Americans.” None of the Americans were injured but Siddiqui was shot. After she recovered she was brought to New York for trial.