A former Bostonian who was on the FBI's "Most Wanted List" and "People Wanted for Questioning" is being held in custody in Afghanistan. It's not yet known who is holding her of where her three children are. People who follow the actions of Islamic radicals in Boston have heard of Aafia Siddiqui, a former MIT and Brandeis student, and mother of three. Siddiqui was the subject of a Vague magazine feature article in March 2005, written by Deborah Scroggins, who's currently writing a book on women and the war on terrorism. More on Siddiqui at Wikipedia here and from a 2004 article in the Pakistan Daily Times here. From today's Boston Globe:
"WASHINGTON - Five years after her disappearance, an MIT-trained Pakistani neuroscientist accused of belonging to an Al Qaeda cell based in Boston, is alive and in custody in Afghanistan, her family's attorney said yesterday."
"The news sheds some light on one of the most intriguing local mysteries in the war on terrorism."
"Siddiqui, who lived in Roxbury and studied at Brandeis University as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, disappeared with her three children while visiting her parents' home in Karachi, Pakistan, in March 2003, around the same time the FBI announced that it wanted to question her."
"For five years, US and Pakistani authorities have denied knowing her whereabouts. But human rights groups and Siddiqui's relatives have long suspected that she had been captured in Karachi and secretly taken into custody."
Why was Siddiqui wanted for questioning by the FBI?
"Military documents declassified in recent years suggest that Siddiqui is suspected of having ties to several key terrorism suspects being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center."
"She is believed to have links to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and allegedly arranged travel documents for another suspected terrorist. Papers in Guantanamo Bay also indicate that she married Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, an alleged Al Qaeda facilitator who intended to blow up gas stations or poison water reservoirs in the United States."
You can read more about Siddiqui's jihadist-supporting activities in the Vogue article. Siddiqui raised funds for Al Kifah, an openly violent jihadist group in New York and Boston (later renamed Care International in Boston, the subject of a recent criminal case). She was allegedly involved in buying diamonds in Liberia to fund al Qaeda, as a first run-up to the September 11th attacks. Scroggins believes that Siddiqui was "drawn into the world of terrorism...through the contacts and friendships she made in the early 1990's working for MIT's Muslims Student Association." One of my readers wrote earlier that Aafia used to attend women-only halaquas (talks) held by Sister Sophia at the Islamic Center of New England in Sharon (ICNE). At times, Siddiqui addressed the halaquas. Sister Sophia is the wife of Basyouny Nehela, imam of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB). Small world, small world.
Stay tuned, we are likely to find out more about Aafia Siddiqui soon. The reaction of female "activists" in Karachi, Pakistan was to demand the release of Siddiqui (Getty photo):