Who is Aafia Siddiqui? Why did a Texas Synagogue gunman demand his release?

Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui was jailed in the United States in 2010 for 86 years. She opened fire on the American soldiers while shouting “death to America and I want to kill Americans”. Recently, a gunman took hostages in Texas and demanded Siddiqui’s release from prison. Siddiqui’s attorneys have denied his involvement in the incident.

Siddiqui is the first woman suspected by the United States of having ties to Al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization. Although she was never convicted for it. Siddiqui was imprisoned for 86 years after attacking American soldiers in 2010.

This weekend, a man, who was armed, had taken hostage demanding the release of Siddiqui from prison. The hostage was taken in Texas. Yesterday, four hostages were released without damage. This release took place after 10 hours of arm wrestling in a synagogue. It ended with the man, the accused, being killed by the forces.


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US officials say the man demanded the 49-year-old’s release. However, his lawyers denied his involvement in the case and condemned the actions of the accused man.

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After the 9/11 attack, his name appeared on FBI radar for donating to an Islamic organization. She allegedly bought $10,000 worth of night vision goggles and war books.

The United States alleged that she joined Al-Qaeda and returned to Pakistan. They also suspected that she married into the family of the architect of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In 2003, she mysteriously disappeared from her home with her three children. Five years later, she was arrested by a local force in the province of Ghazni, in the south-east of the country.

Her activities were considered a crime by the United States, although her imprisonment sparked outrage in Pakistan, where people saw her as a victim instead. Her release was demanded by activists during hostage takings, including the 2014 murder of James Foley. Even Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to free her during his election campaign.

Who is Aafia Siddiqui?

Aafia was also called Lady al-Qaeda. Siddiqui is the daughter of a Pakistani doctor trained in English. Siddiqui traveled to the United States when he was 18 and lived with his brother. She studied at MIT in Boston and earned her doctorate in neuroscience from Brandeis University.

The FBI said in 2010, “While a student in Boston, Siddiqui received training and instruction in the handling and firing of firearms.” She lived in the United States from 1991 to June 2002 and income in Pakistan.