‘Lady al-Qaeda’: What we know about terrorist demanded freed by hostage-taker

Aafia Siddiqui had demanded at her trial that the jurors be required to take a DNA test to prove they weren’t Jewish so the trial would be “fair.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The terrorist whose freedom was demanded by a hostage-taker later shot dead in Texas on Saturday is a virulent antisemite.

Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who received her doctorate from Brandeis University, was known as “Lady al-Qaeda” after marrying in 2003 a nephew of Sheikh Khalid Mohammed, one of the orchestrators of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

She was eventually caught in Afghanistan in 2008, with notes she had written about how to make dirty bombs and chemical weapons and how to spread the deadly Ebola virus, along with a list of American locales to target for such mass casualty attacks.  These included the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street and the Statue of Liberty.

In the event, she was sentenced to 86 years’ imprisonment in 2010 not for her alleged terrorist activity but for attempting to kill American soldiers, as during her questioning she grabbed the rifle of a guard and opened fire on the interrogators. She is serving her term in a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas.

During her trial, she said, “If they have a Zionist or Israeli background . . . they are all mad at me. I have a feeling everyone here is [Jewish] — subject [the jurors] to genetic testing. They should be excluded if you want to be fair.”

Among their arguments in her defense, both at the trial and in a subsequent appeal, her lawyers said that she was mentally ill and not responsible for her actions. In both cases, the judges found her competent to stand trial, and the appeal was rejected.

Siddiqui also sent a letter to then-president Barack Obama from her prison cell detailing her beliefs.

In her 2012 book, “Wanted Women: Faith, Lies, and the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui,” Deborah Scroggins recorded that Siddiqui had told him to “study the history of the Jews. They have always back-stabbed everyone who has taken pity on them and made the ‘fatal’ error of giving them shelter.”

“It is this cruel, ungrateful back-stabbing of the Jews that has caused them to be mercilessly expelled from wherever they gain strength. This why ‘holocausts’ keep happening to them repeatedly! If they would only learn to be grateful and change their behavior!!” she added.

According to Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, Siddiqui had been “open and explicit in her antisemitism.” He noted that “Islamic terrorist groups, including ISIS, have attempted to exchange hostages for her release.”

His statement came after a man whom American media said was claiming to be Siddiqui’s brother took four hostages at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday morning. He demanded to speak to Siddiqui and that she be freed from prison.

He released one hostage a few hours later, and then in the evening, footage online shows two more hostages running out a side door. An FBI SWAT team entered the building, shot the hostage-taker and released the final hostage.

Since the antisemitic nature of the crime seems clear according to the venue chosen by the hostage-taker, police departments in cities with large Jewish populations such as New York, Dallas and Los Angeles increased their patrols near synagogues and other Jewish sites as a precaution.