Washington, Aug 20 : When Pakistani-American doctor Aafia Siddiqui is produced before a US court on September 3, the US authorities would bring grave charges against her ranging from money laundering for Al Qaeda to assisting the terrorist group in other ways, including efforts to procure military equipment.
The US authorities would also bring facts about her past "terror" activities like giving slide shows and rousing speeches to collect donations for the militants' cause in the aftermath of the massacre of Muslims in Bosnia, and spreading Islamic teachings by setting up a non-profit organisation in the US, reported the Daily Times.
The US security and intelligence authorities believe that Dr Aafia was underground of her own will and accord, and that for her own reasons she went "missing" in 2003 from Karachi.
Besides, the US intelligence believes that the terror suspect's three children were in the safe hands of those who were sheltering her. It is noteworthy that her family never lodged a missing person report with the Pakistani police even once during the five years it now claims Siddiqui was in US or/and Pakistani custody, say the US agencies.
Like the previous hearing on August 11, her lawyers may or may not apply for bail, which is likely to be refused. It is not certain that the terrorism-related charges will be slapped on Siddiqui on that day, but it is certain that they will be brought against her eventually, added the paper.
Quoting a report in the Boston Globe, the Pakistan daily reported that Dr Aafia's fellow students at MIT describe her as a "tiny woman with big convictions". According to them, in the 1990s after the massacre of Muslims in Bosnia, she sprang to action, giving slide shows and rousing speeches to collect donations for their cause. She also later established a non-profit organisation to spread Islamic teachings.
According to the paper, as a student in the US Siddiqui raised funds for the Muslim victims of the Bosnian genocide to be sent to the Al-Kifah Refugee Centre in Brooklyn, which the Justice Department maintains diverted such funds to militants. Besides, she was also involved in the establishment of the Dawa Resource Centre, a programme run from a Boston mosque, distributing Qurans and offering Islamic advice to prison inmates. She also urged women to wear the hijab and refuse to shake hands with men.
After her divorce from first husband, also a doctor, she is learnt to have married an Al Qaeda man by the name of Ammar al-Baluchi, a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
The neuroscience doctor was born on March 2, 1972, came to Texas in 1990, graduated from the MIT in 1995 and obtained a PhD from Brandeis University in cognitive neuroscience in 2001. Her three children are: Ahmed (12), Mariam (10) and Suleman (5 1/2). She left for Pakistan in 2002, returned in February 2003 and returned almost immediately. She disappeared in March of that year.