U.S.-trained Pak­istani sci­en­tist con­victed in NYC of try­ing to kill Amer­i­cans in Afghanistan

Cape Breton Post - - CLASSIFIED -

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S.-trained Pak­istani sci­en­tist was con­victed Wed­nes­day of charges that she tried to kill Amer­i­cans while de­tained in Afghanistan in 2008, shout­ing with a raised arm as ju­rors left the court­room: “This is a ver­dict com­ing from Is­rael, not Amer­ica.”

A jury de­lib­er­ated three days in fed­eral court in Man­hat­tan be­fore find­ing Aafia Sid­diqui guilty in the third week of her at­tempted mur­der trial, which she of­ten in­ter­rupted with ram­bling court­room out­bursts.

Af­ter declar­ing the ver­dict came from Is­rael, she turned to­ward spec­ta­tors in the packed court­room and said: “ Your anger should be di­rected where it be­longs. I can tes­tify to this and I have proof.”

Sid­diqui, 37, was con­victed of two counts of at­tempted mur­der, though the crime was not found by the jury to be pre­med­i­tated. She was also con­victed of armed as­sault, us­ing and car­ry­ing a firearm, and as­sault of U.S. of­fi­cers and em­ploy­ees.

Be­fore her ar­rest, U.S. au­thor­i­ties had called Sid­diqui an al-Qaida sym­pa­thizer. She was never charged with ter­ror­ism, but pros­e­cu­tors called her a grave threat who was car­ry­ing bomb-mak­ing in­struc­tions and a list of New York City land­marks in­clud­ing the Statue of Lib­erty when she was cap­tured.

The de­fen­dant — a spindly neu­ro­science spe­cial­ist who trained at the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and Bran­deis Uni­ver­sity — “is no shrink­ing vi­o­let,” As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Christo­pher La Vigne said in clos­ing ar­gu­ments.

“She does what she wants when she wants it,” he said. “Th­ese charges are no joke. Peo­ple al­most died.”

Tes­ti­fy­ing in her own de­fence, Sid­diqui claimed she had been tor­tured and held in a “se­cret prison” be­fore her de­ten­tion. Charges that she at­tacked U.S. per­son­nel who wanted to in­ter­ro­gate her were “crazy,” she said. “It’s just ridicu­lous.”

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