Who is Lady Al Qaeda? ISIS wants her released from Texas prison
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:02:31 GMT —
ISIS is upping the pressure on the U.S. to release a woman known as Lady Al Qaeda.
She's a Pakistani neuroscientist with a world class education. She has degress from MIT and Brandeis.
ISIS is offering to set hostages free if the U.S. releases Dr. Aafia Siddiqui -- aka Lady Al Qaeda -- from a Texas prison.
In fact, her release from prison was one of the demands made by ISIS in exchange for American journalist James Foley...before he was beheaded by his captors.
In an email sent to Foley's family on Aug. 12, ISIS wrote, "We have also offered prisoner exchanges to free the Muslims currently in your detention, like our sister Dr. Aafia Siddiqui."
"She is an icon," said Deborah Scroggins, author of 'Wanted Women'. "She is the poster girl for jihad, and in that way she serves as a rallying point. She is the premier symbol of the Muslim woman in distress."
Siddiqui earned degrees from MIT and Brandeis University outside of Boston. This petite 44-year-old, neuroscientist and mother of three lived in the U.S. for more than a decade.
In 2003, she disappeared. And in 2004, was put on an FBI alert list considered a clear and present danger.
In 2008, Siddiqui was stopped by Afghanistan National Police for acting suspiciously outside a government building.
According to court documents, "Officers searched her handbag and found numerous documents describing the creation of explosives, chemical weapons, and other weapons involving biological material and radiological agents."
Handwritten notes by Siddiqui referred to a "mass casualty attack", listing various locations in the U.S. including the Empire State Building, Wall Street, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
When American authorities came to question her the next day, she grabbed one of their rifles and started shooting.
Siddiqui was flown to the U.S., where she was never charged with terrorism, but convicted of attempted murder.
Siddiqui claimed she was framed.
"She interrupted her trial repeatedly with heated outbursts, anti-Semitic outbursts about Jews and all kinds of things," said Scroggins. "The judge found that she was mentally capable of standing trial, but that she needed some sort of treatment and that's why he sentenced her to a prison in Texas where she was able to receive psychiatric care."
She also has a notorious in-law. Siddiqui is married to the nephew of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
When a CNN reporter asked Scoggins if she considered her a scientist or terrorist, Scoggins replied, "She's definitely a terrorist sympathizer, there's no doubt about that. She was helping terrorists. But she's never been accused of actually committing a terrorist act herself."
Whether she's committed a terrorist act or not, ISIS clearly considers her to be of great value.