Update: Aafia Siddiqui’s native Pakistan is erupting in jihadi violence. At least 9 killed, including 2 police officers and a soldier, at the Red Mosque in Islamabad.
There are now five jihadi doctors implicated in the London/Glasgow car bomb attempts. The latest is a doctor in Australia. Some are expressing shock that highly educated medical professionals are accused of participating in attacks with al Qaeda’s fingerprints all over them. Those shocked experts are either profoundly blind or suffering from toddler-age attention spans. al Qaeda honcho Ayman Zawahiri is a doctor. So is former Hamas biggie Abdel Rantissi. And the woman pictured on the left? She’s Affia Siddiqui–a Pakistani who studied microbiology at MIT and did graduate work in neurology at Brandeis. The FBI has been seeking information about her whereabouts since 9/11.
Back in 2004, I noted a Newsweek report on her al Qaeda-linked activities and that of her estranged husband–also a doctor:
[D]ocuments show that while trying to trace a tangled money trail beginning with the Saudi Embassy, [terrorism] investigators soon drew startling connections between a group of Saudi nationals receiving financial support from the embassy and a 34-year-old microbiologist and MIT graduate who officials have since concluded was a U.S. operative for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.
The microbiologist, Aafia Siddiqui, a mother of three young children, has since fled the country–most likely to her native Pakistan-and is now wanted for questioning by the FBI. But “suspicious-activity reports” (SARS) filed by Fleet Bank with the U.S. Treasury Department, suggest that Siddiqui and her estranged husband, Dr. Mohammed Amjad Khan, an anesthesiologist, may have been active terror plotters inside the country until as late as the summer of 2002.
The reports show that Fleet Bank investigators discovered that one account used by the Boston-area couple showed repeated debit-card purchases from stores that “specialize in high-tech military equipment and apparel,” including Black Hawk Industries in Chesapeake, Va., and Brigade Quartermasters in Georgia. (Black Hawk’s Web site, advertises grips, mounts and parts for AK-47s and other military-assault rifles as well as highly specialized combat clothing, including vests designed for bomb disposal.)
Fleet accounts associated with the couple also showed “major purchases” from U.S. airlines and hotels in Pittsburgh and North Carolina as well as an $8,000 international wire transfer on Dec. 21, 2001, to Habib Bank Ltd., a big Pakistani financial institution that has long been scrutinized by U.S. intelligence officials monitoring terrorist money flows.
NEWSWEEK first reported, in a June 23, 2003, cover story, that the FBI had identified Siddiqui and Khan as suspected Al Qaeda agents. Internal FBI documents showed that, after his capture in March 2003, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed told U.S. interrogators that Siddiqui was supposed to support “other AQ operatives as they entered the United States.” Agents also found evidence that she had rented a post-office box to help another Baltimore-based Al Qaeda contact who had been assigned by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to blow up underground gasoline-storage tanks. Bureau documents also stated that Khan, Siddiqui’s husband, had purchased body armor, night-vision goggles and a variety of military manuals that were supposed to be sent to Pakistan.
Our Hot Air report tracing the Baltimore plot and Siddiqui’s role as the suspected fixer for al Qaeda is here.
As Steve Emerson pointed out during my interview with him last night on The O’Reilly Factor, they serve two useful purposes: 1) they had been able to evade national security scrutiny by immigration officials who didn’t realize the threat they posed and 2) their education and expertise have helped advance the jihadi plots.
Those who are expressing shock, shock at the presence of medical professionals in the al Qaeda world haven’t been paying enough attention.
Question for our homeland security officials: Where in the world is Aafia Siddiqui? Perhaps it’s time to ask a little louder.
Update: More terrorist docs.