Mata Hari of al Qaeda and the GITMO JAG

A former Guantanamo Bay attorney seems to be on Pakistan’s short list to help defend one of that country’s own.

The alleged terrorist is not at the military’s offshore facility. She is being held in Texas awaiting trial in a New York federal court — well outside the military tribunal system.

She is Aafia Siddiqui; some call her the Mata Hari — the Mata Hari of al Qaeda, that is. We know she hails from Pakistan and is an MIT grad. She holds a Ph.D in neuroscience from Brandeis University. Information surrounding the apprehension and detention of Siddiqui are murky at best. She was arrested in Ghazni, Afghanistan, in July 2008. The allegations against her are so outrageous, they might be true.

Siddiqui is charged with attempted murder. As the story goes, after her apprehension she fired two shots at FBI agents, Army officers, and interpreters. How did she get the gun, you ask? It is alleged she took it away from one of the Americans. While Team USA went unscathed, Siddiqui took at least one bullet to the abdomen.

There are reports she planned to bomb the Ghazni provincial governor’s residence. It is also said she threatened to kill former presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. She allegedly had plans to use chem-bio weapons. She may have had a list of New York City targets, too. She may be a repository of much-sought information.  Oh, and she had at least one of her three young children with her while wreaking this havoc.

So Siddiqui sits in a Fort Worth, Texas, facility. The trial might begin as early as October according to one source. Adding to the mystery are her whereabouts for the five years prior to her arrest. Was she secretly in U.S. detention in Afghanistan as some allege?  U.S. officials maintain she was in Pakistan or in hiding.

Regardless, reports say she is not in the best shape mentally and has undergone extensive medical evaluation during her time in Texas. There are questions about her ability to stand trial.

It has been said the Mata Hari of al Qaeda might be the most significant apprehension in five years. Will our GITMO JAG get yet another high-profile case? Maybe a book deal?

If this goes to trial, this will be one to watch.

Recent Posts