The (formerly) most dangerous woman in the world

The FBI has announced the arrest of Aafia Siddiqui, one of the most educated and one of the most dangerous of all al-Qaeda terrorists. From FBI web site today She has been on the run for some years, apparently living as a sleeper for the terrorist gang, in the United States and abroad.

Siddiqui was arrested in Afghanistan — an understatement right up there with the captain of the Titanic announcing his ship would be taking on some ice.

She is in the United States and going to be in court in New York on Tuesday (August 5). But her arrest in Afghanistan was anything but routine:

The Warrant Officer took a seat and placed his United States Army M-4 rifle on the floor next to the curtain. Shortly after the meeting began, the Captain heard a woman yell from the curtain and, when he turned, saw Siddiqui holding the Warrant Officer’s rifle and pointing it directly at the Captain. Siddiqui said, “May the blood of [unintelligible] be directly on your [unintelligible, possibly head or hands].” The interpreter seated closest to Siddiqui lunged at her and pushed the rifle away as Siddiqui pulled the trigger. Siddiqui fired at least two shots but no one was hit. The Warrant Officer returned fire with a 9 mm service pistol and fired approximately two rounds at Siddiqui’s torso, hitting her at least once.

Despite being shot, Siddiqui struggled with the officers when they tried to subdue her; she struck and kicked them while shouting in English that she wanted to kill Americans. After being subdued, Siddiqui temporarily lost consciousness.

This would be movie material even if it were fiction.

Four and a half years ago, the FBI put out a special arrest bulletin on Siddiqui, as well as her estranged husband, Dr Mohammed Khan, 33. It was the first time an FBI bulletin sought a woman in the war against terror. So far as officials were concerned, she was lost, completely off the radar.

They thought Siddiqui, who has a doctorate in neurological science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, might be in Pakistan. She lived in Boston while attending MIT, and travelled after 9/11 to the Maryland suburbs of Washington.

Officially, she was only wanted for questioning before she was detained, then shot, then arrested in Afghanistan. Now, she is looking at 20 years in a solitary cell in a maximum security (Supermax) prison for trying to kill the Americans.

This is good.

More to the point, Aafia Siddiqui, with her MIT doctorate and her excellent up-bringing and her opportunity to do just about literally anything she set her mind to gives the lie to the ridiculous theory that there are some set of “root causes” of terrorism we should all spend years looking for and studying.


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