Continuation of post below. The ex-husband of captured terrorist supporter Affia Siddiqui spoke out recently about his ex-wife and children, in an interview in The International News: .
"Dr Aafia Siddiqui, suspected of having links to terrorist organizations, has been charged in a criminal complaint filed in a court of New York on account of attempting to kill US personnel during interrogation and on a charge of assaulting US officers and employees in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 17, 2008. Subsequently Dr Aafia was imprisoned in Bagram for 18 days before being taken to the US for a trial."
"Due to pressure from Aafia Siddiqui’s family, the Pakistan government has been trying to secure her release from the US claiming her to be innocent."
Dr Khan was married to Aafia Siddiqi for seven years, including several years spent in Boston. Aafia was an MIT grad and studied at Brandeis, and then-husband Muhammed Amjad Khan worked as an anesthesiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Khan refutes many allegations made about the case by Aafia Siddiqui's family, the media and presumably such groups as Caged Prisoners. Excerpts from the interview:
- "...he is disappointed with the government’s disregard for the law when officials handed over his eldest son, Ahmad, to his aunt Dr Fowzia Siddiqui on his return from Afghanistan last year instead of his legal guardian, his father." (Ahmad was picked up in Afghanistan with his mother when she was arrested in August 2008.)
- " 'I was aware of Aafia’s violent personality and extremist views and suspected her involvement in Jihadi activities. My fear later proved to be true when during Uzair Paracha’s trial in the US in 2004, the real purpose of Aafia’s trip to the US (between December 23, 2002 and January 3, 2003) was revealed.' "
- "Dr Amjad disclosed that he later learnt from media reports that Aafia’s family claimed she made this trip to the US for job interviews in December at a time when universities were closed for winter holidays. 'I also found it very odd that on the one hand Aafia insisted on leaving the US after September 11, 2001, claiming the country was unsafe for us and our children because the US government was abducting Muslim children, and on the other hand took the risk of travelling to that country again without fearing that she may be captured and may never see our children again.' ”
- "While Dr Aafia was in the US, the authorities had been closely watching her, added Amjad. They soon issued the first global “wanted for questioning” alert for the couple in March 2003. 'At that time, the agencies did not know we were divorced and I was also unaware of Aafia’s involvement with two other terror suspects, Majid Khan and Ammar Al-Baluchi. (Ed note: Aafia later married Ammar Al-Baluchi.) They wanted me to persuade Aafia to appear for the interview with them and clear the charges leveled against her just as I had done. That is when she went underground and it later became apparent why she chose to ‘disappear’,' disclosed Dr Amjad."
- "Although Amjad and Aafia both were inclined towards religion, he found her opinion towards Jihad to be of an extreme nature that sometimes made him uncomfortable. He became particularly suspicious of his wife’s intentions when soon after the 9/11 attacks, she compelled Amjad to leave Boston (where Amjad was completing his residency) and move to Afghanistan where she claimed 'he would be more useful'....she openly asked for khula (divorce) when Amjad declined to go to Afghanistan."
Khan repeats some of the same things he stated in his Letter to the Editor to Dawn Magazine several months ago, that the Siddiqui family has taken custody of his 13-year old son Ahmed and is not allowing Khan to see his son. Khan says that the family is "discouraging a meeting with Ahmad because they fear Ahmad will reveal the truth about Aafia’s activities and whereabouts of his siblings over these years.”
Khan said in the intweview that Aafia was prone to violent behaviour and that she physically attacked him. A March 2005 article about Aafia reports that Aafia's family said that Amjad Kan beat Aafia and the children. The Vogue article also reports a specific incident when Amjad threw a milk bottle at her, striking her in the mouth, which required stitches. There are a number of discrepanices between the 2005 Vogue article and the 2009 Khan interview. But this (from the interview) is quite interesting:
Ah yes, this dreadful picture, which was reported by a Pakistani newspaper as being taken at Aafia's court appearance in New York on August 11, 2009. The same newspaper article reports that she was wearing a maroon headscarf, which it clearly is not. I questioned the provenance of that photo several months ago. More on the photo later, I believe a French reporter claimed to know where the photo came from too.
The Khan interview shows the deep distrust and animosity between Dr. Khan and the Siddiqi family. The Siddiquis accused Khan of kidnapping the children and changing their names. Khan says they were the ones who did that. The Siddiqis say that Khan caused Aafia's father to have a heart attack which killed him. Khan refutes that too. Dr. Khan still does not know the whereabouts of his other two children, 10-year old Marium and six-year-old Suleiman. Can you imagine the anguish of this father?
This story continues to be sad and fascinating. Will follow-up with updates on the criminal charges brought against Aafia. Also Aafia herself made some statements recently, I'll find those and report on that.
Previous blogposts on Aafia Siddiqi here (scroll down).
Previous blogposts on Aafia Siddiqi here (scroll down).