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Pakistani Scientist Gets 86 Years For Firing At Troops

NEW YORK (AP/WCBS 880) — A U.S.-trained Pakistani scientist convicted of trying to kill U.S. agents and military officers in Afghanistan was sentenced Thursday to 86 years in prison after she delivered a message of world peace and forgave the judge.

“I am a Muslim, but I love Americans too,” Aafia Siddiqui said during one of several rambling statements delivered in a lilting voice at the behest of U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.

“Forgive everybody in my case, please,” she added. “Also forgive Judge Berman.”

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reports from the courtroom

During a three-hour hearing in federal court in Manhattan, Siddiqui claimed she had evidence Israel was behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and warned more plots were in the works.

“I do not want any bloodshed. I do not want any misunderstanding. I really want to make peace and end the wars,” she said.

Siddiqui rolled her eyes, shook her head and threw up her hand in frustration as her lawyers tried to convince the judge she deserved leniency because she was mentally ill.

“I’m not paranoid,” she said at one point. “I don’t agree with that.”

She also tried to dispel rumors she was being tortured while in New York, and urged calm over her plight.

“Tell the Muslims, please don’t get emotional,” she said, addressing reporters in the audience. “I’m OK. … I do not want any violence in my name.”

News of the harsh sentence still touched off protests in Pakistan.

In the northwestern city of Peshawar, dozens of people took to the streets, burning tires and shouting “Down with America!” and slogans against Pakistani’s president and prime minister. Some hit a portrait of U.S. President Barack Obama with their shoes.

“This sentence is a slap in the face of our rulers who have pledged and made promises to bring back Aafia,” Siddiqui’s sister Fauzia said at her home in the southern city of Karachi.

The Pakistani government, which helped bankroll Siddiqui’s defense, was “disappointed at the sentence and sad that our efforts to get her back to Pakistan did not succeed,” said foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit. “We are in touch with the U.S. administration to see what possible options are available. We are not giving up.”

The sentence imposed on the mother of three capped a strange legal odyssey that began two summers ago, when the 38-year-old Siddiqui turned up in Afghanistan carrying notes referencing a “mass casualty attack” on New York City landmarks and a stash of sodium cyanide.

At trial earlier this year, jurors heard eyewitnesses describe how, after she was detained by Afghan police, Siddiqui grabbed a rifle and tried to shoot U.S. authorities who had gone to interrogate her. They said she yelled, “Death to Americans!” before she was injured in return fire and subdued.

At trial, Siddiqui testified in her own defense. Charges that she purposely shot at soldiers were “crazy,” she said. “It’s just ridiculous.”

Prosecutors argued for a life sentence, saying Siddiqui’s crimes were premeditated and intended to harm Americans.

“This was not some random act,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher La Vigne. “On that day, she saw her chance and she took it.”

The defense had asked the judge for a sentence closer to 12 years behind bars. Her lawyers argued in court papers that their client’s outburst inside a cramped Afghan outpost was a spontaneous “freak out,” born of mental illness, not militancy.

“All she wanted to do was get away because she was afraid,” said defense attorney Dawn Cardi.

Calling Siddiqui an “enigma,” Berman started the sentencing by outlining Siddiqui’s history, noting that she was educated in the United States at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University in the early 1990s.

Berman said she returned to her native Pakistan in 2003 and married a purported al-Qaida operative, a nephew to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Both are held at Guantanamo Bay.

He said it was not clear where she was from 2003 through 2008, though Siddiqui tried to clear that up when she spoke, saying she was held in a secret prison in Afghanistan for many years.

When the judge announced that he planned to sentence Siddiqui to 86 years in prison, someone in the courtroom shouted: “Shame! Shame! Shame on this court!” The judge warned the woman she would be removed if she made another outburst.

Just before she was sentenced, Siddiqui said she was at peace. Afterward, she insisted that her lawyers not appeal.

“It’s useless, pointless,” she said. “I appeal to God.”

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

More from Irene Cornell
Comments

One Comment

  1. greyboy says:

    American judges have all corrupted themselves.

  2. grayboy says:

    freedom of speech is almost dead.!

  3. grayboy says:

    Corrupt nations give corrupt prison sentences.

  4. russian jew says:

    I agree with the previous statement. If she was in pakistan she would have been raped and stoned to death. we should stop aid to pakistan fro a few years so that they may see how horrible their life will be with out the US support. Dumb ass people

  5. Deke218 says:

    I wish peace to you all. May we one day soon find a way to iron out our differences and learn to live in peace respecting each other as it was intended. This eye for an eye will only leave as all blinded.

  6. SHABEER says:

    American army cannot face THE BRAVE TALIBAN, therefore now they need a cheap means to save their face

    1. mary says:

      Shabeer – those Taliban you speak of will not be your saviour they will be your downfall and keep you and your family living in the dark ages forever ..but that is your choice ..see here in US you get to choose who and what you want to be !

      1. Devenio says:

        Someone has been drinking the kool-aid.

  7. SHABEER says:

    Now I come to the conclusion that why Americans are loosing war in Afghanistan (LOL). against BRAVE TALIBAN.. Actually they cannot save their gun from a lady doctor

  8. SHABEER says:

    SHAME ON AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WHO CANNOT SAVE THEIR GUNS FROM A LADY DOCTOR…………..SHAME ON AMERICAN COURTS

  9. Andar says:

    Marry I feel sorry for all what happen on Sep11? I do respect for the feeling of all whose family suffered? My point is these mafia are playing every where ? like in Iraq where are the weapon of mass destruction? How many soldiers are being killed in Iraq? Now see in Afghanistan daily soldiers are being killed? The world is now in the hand of Mafia and they are playing with all of us by media? The common man is worried in his own life like survival ? retirement , day to day problem etc Mafia keep us busy in such things so that we should not have time to think about them??????????

  10. zain says:

    She must have been a bionic woman. she managed to grab the soldier’s gun while holding her toddler son in one and manged to somehow shot at the soldier who manged to escape the bullets and somehow the bullets made a u turn and ended up in her body?? Also, no finger prints were found on the gun that was presented in the court. The “experts” testified that its possible that the finger prints might have evaported. LOL
    what a joke this court is.

  11. zain says:

    The biggest chugtia on the internet is Art. LOL,
    i can name the scients but i think Noble “peace” prize is not worthy prize for me to defend. its a political prize has nothing to do with”peace”.

  12. Andar says:

    What I have confirm news with me while working close to UN project that Doc Afia Developed a process to Neutralize the Atomic Bomb ???????? This is what put him under all these problem? She was working on a project in US. Even a common man knows the charges against her are not up to that level ? So the Pakistani Mafia Government who even kill Benizir Bhuto for $$$$ so they sold her back to USA. So think many time that all the Mafia of world it may be US or UK or Arab they all are one and big crooks are just making play with general public? Most of the common man only work and go home where as those who are part of mafia they always play such games with common man who tries to break any barrier ??????????????/

    1. Mary says:

      Andar – oh yes you mean like the men and women who only work and go home but almost 3,000 never made it home that day in Sept …innocent people of all faiths this is the legacay of the terrorist movement and Bin Laden for all their remaining days

      1. Andar says:

        I feel sorry for all what happen on Sep11? I do respect for the feeling of all whose family suffer? My point is these mafia are playing every where ? like in Iraq where are the weapon of mass destruction? How many soldiers are being killed in Iraq? Now see in Afghanistan daily soldiers are being killed? The world is now in the hand of Mafia and they are playing with all of us by media? The common man is worried in his own life like survival ? retirement , day to day problem etc Mafia keep us busy in such things so that we should not have time to think about them??????????

  13. REDX says:

    READ HISTORY AND YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH…

  14. mier says:

    Mush was doing a great job. handed over 800 terrorists to US. the days of talibs & alqaed are numbered. pak army is gonna lauch a big offensive in winter. supported by air power from NATO

  15. mier says:

    the floods in pakistan is wrath of god because of people like Afia & Faisal shazad. drones will take care of the terrorists in wazirisatn ! pak army is doing good job in killing the terrorists in north.

  16. Aslam says:

    Pakistani politicians and Pakistan Army is responsible for her prison, because they take money from America for their own benefits not for the Pakistan and not for the Pakistani nation,She is innocent women and how it is possible that a scientist kiled soldiers as solders are not so untrained that a women kill them.

  17. tom says:

    soon iran will be in rubble

  18. Rog says:

    in the immortal words of Darth Sidious….”wipe them out….all of them”….

  19. Azrael says:

    The Islamic religion is such a peace loving religion. They treat their women like jeweled queens and have such an accepting tolerance of other religions….We should all tolerate them and show them the same tolerance and open mindedness that they share with other religions such as Judaism and Christianity. Prime example: Right now I am painting a picture of Muhammad doing such obscene things with a goat, eating a pork chop, and tipping strippers…., and they will forgive me just as they always do!

  20. TAHIR says:

    story
    THE WOLF AND THE LAMB

    MORAL: LIE HAS NO FEET

  21. tom says:

    the isralies have the most nobles

  22. muslim says:

    DR,AFIA LIVE LONG……………….
    DR AFIA IS A GREAT WOMEN…………………….
    TRUTH IS ,SHE IS INNOCENT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,WEST IN POWER SO HE CAN DO ANYTHING,,,BEC THEY ARE NON-MULIMS,ONLY HELL FOR THEM……

  23. nadeem says:

    shame on american kangroo court. shame shame on u american. u are unable to give her right. shame on u american

  24. TAHIR says:

    What the hell with the American solders ,,How its possible ,,,that a women could get a gun from a soldier,hah,,,,so rubbishhhh,,,,,
    READ THE STORY OF THE LAMB AND WOLF,,,,,,U WILL KNOW THE TRUTH,,
    SHAME AMERICA………….

  25. Mujib ur Rahman says:

    Teach us please.

    1. mary says:

      When you learn to not hate then you have learned well

  26. TAHIR says:

    I AM FEELING VERY SORRY FOR U,,BUT I AM HAPPY THAT U HAVE LIFTED UP YOUR NAME IN THE HEARTS OF ISLAM AND PEACE LOVING PERSONS,WE ALL KNOW THAT U R INNOCENT.WE WILL INSHALLAH BRING U BACK.

    I DON’T THINK THAT AMERICAN SOLDIERS ARE SO WEAK THAT A WOMEN LIKE AFIA COULD GET A GUN FROM THEM,,,,SO FUNNY,SHAME AMERICA AND AMERICAN SOLDIERS,GET BANGLES IN YOUR HAND AMERICAN SOLDIERS…YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO KEEP CARE OF GUN,,
    SHAME AMERICAN LAW, SHAME AMERICA,SHAME AMERICAN SOLDIERS

  27. Mujib ur Rahman says:

    Wow. She must be Electra or Mata Hari. Cant say much about the court proceedings as I wasnt there. Wish Sidney Sheldon could do another book like “… Midnight…” No bullet holes anywhere except in her body…. Where have her children been kept. One is still missing????

  28. mier says:

    She deserted her husband & children & was living with an Arab terrorist in Afghanistan who was later killed. her husband divorced her & demanded custody of her children. she is an established alqaeda operative & deserves the cosequences. justice has been served.

    1. Muhammad Irfan says:

      Jutice will also be served with your soldiers in Afghanistan who are loosing.

    2. Mujib ur Rahman says:

      wow. join the book club. the mystry deepens.

  29. Imran says:

    Aafia was a TERRORIST. We must respect US court decision. US justice system is far better than our Pakistani justice.

    1. Muhammad Irfan says:

      Oh really Imran do you think thats your judges got enough evidence from your liar soldiers in Afghanistan.

      US justice system is good for US citizen otherwise they have jails land tutored cells around the world like Cuba. Their CIA is the biggest terrorist organization of the world

      1. dano says:

        muhammad irfan, any real terrorist possessing the nuclear capability that america has, would immediately use those weapons to annihilate entire countries that are considered enemies. clearly, the CIA is not the world’s largest terrorist as you accuse. hello-the CIA doesn’t even behead it’s captives…

        your example is pathetic, something i would expect from a drama queen. please think a bit more clearly about making ridiculous accusations.

  30. THE MANN says:

    Why don’t we just make all religions illegal, then we won’t have anymore wars and mankind can finally progress like it was supposed to in the first place. Science will eventually prevail and save all of mankind from the ignorant self-righteous bible/kuran thumping lunatics. These books help promote themselves while trashing others as inferior. I say Nuke every holy city like Vatican city, Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Salt Lake City (LOL), etc. Then we just have to deal with the racists. Jesus and Muhammad is holding back mankind by 1000 years. Shame on these radical nutcases.

    1. j singh says:

      You are absolutely dead on my friend.

  31. tom says:

    mr. ifran why dont you join the talaiban you might meet some american soliders

    1. Muhammad Irfan says:

      Tom American don’t need Taliban they are their own enemy and killing themselves they are Isolated in the world.

  32. Adeel says:

    The Downfall of American State has indeed begun…

  33. Muhammad Irfan says:

    It is showing the real face of America how cruel country is a woman of 30 years of age attacking soldiers can any buddy believe it ?

    She was tortured in jails of Afhanishtan and the footage show it but they pur pressure on Afia to change its statement.

    What Pakistan has to do is to stop American Supply line and withdraw its supports for its troops and let the American troop’s defeat closer more faster.

    America soldiers will really feel

    1. anonymous says:

      Why dont you STFU Irfan. Join Al-Qaida already so we can bomb your sorry ass.

  34. universalims says:

    why dont america just nuke us, the muslims and arab countries and just finish this thing once and for all…its a nice solution i guess.//

    1. Muhammad Irfan says:

      Now this is our turn dear. your turn is now finished

      1. lenny says:

        yeh, ur turn for jail. i hope u like it up the poop chute.

  35. mary Cutrone says:

    mental illness my arse now she’ s trying to make like she loves the US give me a break if she was convicted in her own country she would have been dead by now prob stoned to death or god knows what else block them off ,throw them out and aim a nuke at them in case they get fiesty again …

    1. anjum says:

      As if european christians have never erred,and are always tuning the other cheek may what you say fall on your own heads.

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