As I reported last week, al Qaeda fixer Aafia Siddiqui turned a federal courtroom in Manhattan into her own Cirque du Jihad.
Today, she was convicted of attempting to murder a U.S. serviceman in Pakistan. Proof that civilian trials for terrorists work? Hardly. Note that while KSM named her as a principal in U.S.-based plots to bomb gas stations and counterterrorism investigators traced her bank account to Saudi terror funders , she was not convicted of terrorism.
After the verdict was read, Siddiqui turned to the gallery, pointed her finger in the air and said, “This is a verdict coming from Israel, not America, and that is where the anger 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 found guilty of armed assault, using and carrying a firearm, and assault of US officers.
Siddiqui faces life behind bars for her crimes.
The Pakistani neuroscientist, who the feds claimed was an al Qaeda associate, was arrested two years ago carrying handwritten plans for a radioactive “dirty bomb” along with a list of New York landmarks.
Federal prosecutors said that when FBI agents went to question her, she picked up an unattended rifle and shot at them. They claim Siddiqui was wounded by return fire.
It took a jury nearly three days to convict Siddiqui, who became famous for her loud outbursts that often got her kicked out of the courtroom.
Testifying in her own defense, Siddiqui claimed she had been tortured and held in a “secret prison” before her detention. Charges that she attacked US personnel who wanted to interrogate her were “crazy,” she said.
“It’s just ridiculous,” she said at her trial.
In court, Siddiqui veiled her face with a white scarf and often sat slumped in her chair. She openly sparred with the judge and her own lawyers, insisted she could bring peace to the Middle East.
“I was never planning a bombing! You’re lying!” she yelled while an Army captain testified on the first day of her two-week trial.
Despite claims that she was an al Qaeda sympathizer, Siddiqui was never charged with terrorism.
And despite her Crazy Card ploy, she was a cool as a cucumber when trying to save her hide on the stand.
Classic al Qaeda textbook: Chillingly Calm and Collected, When She Wants to Be.
Preview of things to come…