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Episode 1720

Aafia Siddiqui
Mon, 2022-Jan-17 11:55 UTC
Length - 4:05

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Welcome to popular Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a popular Wikipedia page every day.

With 255,753 views on Sunday, 16 January 2022 our article of the day is Aafia Siddiqui.

Aafia Siddiqui (Urdu: عافیہ صدیقی; born 2 March 1972) is a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of multiple felonies. She is serving an 86-year sentence at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. She is viewed by some in Pakistan as the "national symbol of honor and victimization" though other Pakistanis have called this "knee-jerk Pakistani nationalism". The Pakistani news media have called her trial a "farce" and "politicized from the start" while the U. S. news media has noted she "is a cause célèbre in the terrorist world."Siddiqui was born in Pakistan to a Sunni Muslim family. For a period from 1990, she studied in the United States and obtained a PhD in neuroscience from Brandeis University in 2001. She returned to Pakistan for a time following the 9/11 attacks and again in 2003 during the war in Afghanistan. Khalid Sheikh Muhammad named her a courier and financier for Al-Qaeda, and she was placed on the FBI Seeking Information – Terrorism list; she remains the only woman to have been featured on the list. Around this time, she and her three children were allegedly kidnapped in Pakistan. Five years later, she reappeared in Ghazni, Afghanistan, and was arrested by Afghan police and held for questioning by the FBI, when she allegedly shot at visiting FBI and Army personnel with an M4 carbine from the floor and was shot in the abdomen in return fire. She was treated and then extradited to the US, where in September 2008 she was indicted on charges of assault and attempted murder, charges she denied. She was convicted on 3 February 2010 and later sentenced to 86 years in prison, despite her defense noting the lack of physical evidence and the conflicting accounts of the nine government witnesses. She was not charged with any terrorism-related offences. Her case has been called a "flashpoint of Pakistani-American tensions", and "one of the most mysterious in a secret war dense with mysteries". In Pakistan, her arrest and conviction was seen by the public as an "attack on Islam and Muslims", and occasioned large protests throughout the country; while in the US, she was considered by some to be especially dangerous as "one of the few alleged Al Qaeda associates with the ability to move about the United States undetected, and the scientific expertise to carry out a sophisticated attack", and she has been called "Lady al-Qaeda" by a number of media organizations. ISIS also offered to trade her for prisoners on two occasions: Once for James Foley and once for Kayla Mueller. Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani described Siddiqui as a "daughter of the nation", and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif promised to push for her release. Current Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has also expressed support for freeing Dr. Aafia on multiple occasions.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 11:55 UTC on Monday, 17 January 2022.

For the full current version of the article, see Aafia Siddiqui on Wikipedia.

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