A U.S. court has indicted a Pakistani woman, suspected of links to
al-Qaida, on charges of attempted murder and assault of U.S. federal
agents in Afghanistan.
Aafia Siddiqui, a U.S.-educated scientist, is scheduled to be arraigned
on the indictment on September fourth in the U.S. District Court in New
The charges against her include attempted murder, assault, and
discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence. If convicted, she
could face life in prison.
The incident involving Siddiqui and U.S. federal agents and army
officers happened a day after Afghan police detained her in July.
Prosecutors allege Siddiqui grabbed a U.S. soldier's rifle and shot at
U.S. agents preparing to question her about suspected ties to al-Qaida.
She was shot and wounded by one of the U.S. officers who tried to
U.S. prosecutors say that when Afghan police detained Siddiqui, she was
carrying handwritten notes referring to a "mass casualty attack" and
listing several U.S. landmarks, including the Empire State Building,
the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.
In 2004, U.S. authorities accused Siddiqui of helping al-Qaida
operatives sent to the U.S. by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind
of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.