Posted : Jan 16 10:41 AM
Pakistani terrorist in Texas
Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani prisoner in the United States whose release was reportedly demanded by a Texas hostage-taker this weekend, is serving an 86-year sentence for the attempted murder of American soldiers.
Four people were freed unharmed on Sunday following a more than 10-hour standoff at a synagogue in the US state. Their suspected captor was killed.
Media, quoting a US official briefed on the matter, reported that the man was calling for the release of 49-year-old Siddiqui.
Her lawyer said in a statement to CNN that she had "absolutely no involvement" in the hostage situation, and condemned the man's actions.
A US-educated Pakistani scientist, she was jailed in 2010 for attacking American soldiers in Afghanistan.
She was the first woman to be suspected of Al-Qaeda links by the US, but never convicted of it.
At 18 years old, Siddiqui travelled to the US, where her brother lived, to study at Boston's prestigious MIT, later earning a PhD in neuroscience at Brandeis University.
But after the 9/11 terror attacks of 2001, she came up on the FBI's radar for donations to Islamic organisations and was linked to the purchase of $10,000 worth of night-vision goggles and books on warfare.
The US suspected she joined Al-Qaeda from America, returning to Pakistan where she married into the family of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- an architect of the 9/11 attacks.
She disappeared in around 2003, along with her three children, in Karachi.
Five years later she turned up in Pakistan's war-torn neighbour Afghanistan, where she was arrested by local forces in the restive southeastern province of Ghazni.