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US Kidnaps Scientist in Pakistan

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    FBI concedes Aafia Siddiqui in US custody: lawyer By Anwar Iqbal Dawn August 4, 2008 http://www.dawn.com/2008/08/04/top7.htm WASHINGTON, Aug 3: Five years
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2008
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      FBI concedes Aafia Siddiqui in US custody: lawyer
      By Anwar Iqbal
      Dawn
      August 4, 2008
      http://www.dawn.com/2008/08/04/top7.htm


      WASHINGTON, Aug 3: Five years after her mysterious disappearance in
      Karachi, the FBI has finally conceded that an MIT-trained
      Pakistani neuroscientist is alive and is in US custody in
      Afghanistan.

      Aafia Siddiqui, 36, disappeared with her three children while
      visiting her parents' home in Karachi in March 2003, around the same
      time the FBI announced that it wanted to question her over her
      alleged links to Al Qaeda.

      Her family's lawyer Elaine Whitfield Sharp said she believed recent
      media reports about Mrs Siddiqui's incarceration increased
      pressure on the US and Pakistani authorities to divulge more
      information.

      "I don't believe that they just found Aafia," she said. "I believe
      that she was there all along."

      The fate of her three young, American-born children is still unknown.

      Before her disappearance, Mrs Siddiqui lived in a Boston suburb of
      Roxbury and studied at Brandeis University as well as the
      Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

      In a 2006 report, Amnesty International listed Mrs Siddiqui as among
      a number of "disappeared" suspects in the war on terrorism. On
      July 6, 2007, AI listed Mrs Siddiqui as a possible CIA "secret
      detainee", although she was still on the FBI's Seeking Information -
      Terrorism list. Late last week, Mrs Siddiqui's photo still appeared
      on the FBI's list of people wanted for questioning.

      Since no charges were ever filed against her, human rights groups
      treated her case as that of "extrajudicial detention", although no
      government ever claimed detaining her.

      Even the FBI does not mention any charges in the notice seeking
      information about her. "Although the FBI has no information
      indicating this individual is connected to specific terrorist
      activities, the FBI would like to locate and question this
      individual," says the notice.

      The "gray lady of Bagram": On July 7, a British journalist Yvonne
      Ridley told a news conference in Islamabad that a Pakistani woman
      had been held in solitary confinement for years at the Bagram US
      base near Kabul. The identity of this prisoner remains unconfirmed.
      She has been nicknamed the "gray lady of Bagram". Ms Ridley,
      however, speculated that she was Aafia Siddiqui.

      Moazzam Begg and several other former captives also have reported
      that a female prisoner, prisoner 650, was held in Bagram. The
      former captives claim that she has lost her sanity and cries all the
      time.

      Although it is still not clear if the "gray lady of Bagram" is Aafia
      Siddiqui, her family's attorney told reporters on Friday that
      the FBI had finally conceded that Mrs Siddiqui is in US custody.

      "It has been confirmed by the FBI that Aafia Siddiqui is alive,"
      said Ms Sharp, who said she spoke to an FBI official on Thursday.

      "She is injured but alive, and she is in Afghanistan."

      For five years, US and Pakistani authorities denied knowing her
      whereabouts. But human rights groups and Mrs Siddiqui's relatives
      had long suspected that she had been captured in Karachi and
      secretly taken into custody.

      On Thursday, an FBI official visited Mrs Siddiqui's brother in
      Houston to deliver the news that she was alive and in custody, Ms
      Sharp said.

      FBI officials, however, would not say who was holding her or reveal
      the fate of her children.

      "If she's in US custody, they want to know where she is," Ms Sharp
      said. "Who has got her? And does she need medical care?"

      The FBI and the Justice Department declined to comment.

      US military documents declassified in recent years suggest that Mrs
      Siddiqui is suspected of having ties to several key terrorism
      suspects being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

      She is believed to have links to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged
      mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and allegedly
      arranged travel documents for another suspected terrorist.

      Papers in Guantanamo Bay also indicate that she married Ali Abd Al
      Aziz Ali, an alleged Al Qaeda facilitator who intended to blow up
      petrol stations or poison water reservoirs in the United States.

      The three men were among 14 high-value suspects brought to
      Guantanamo Bay in 2006 after years of secret detention in CIA
      prisons in Eastern Europe.

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