New Delhi: The hostage incident at Texas synagogue has brought in the question – who is Aafia Siddiqui?
A live stream of the Shabbat morning service at the synagogue on Facebook captured audio of a man talking loudly when the incident started. According to the law enforcement officials, the hostage-taker demanded the release of the Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui.
Who is Aafia Siddiqui?
She is a Pakistani national who had studied in the United States at Brandeis University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
After September 11 attack in the US, the FBI and Justice Department described her as an “al-Qaida operative”.
Claiming that a handwritten note which talks about the construction of ‘dirty bombs’ and a list of US locations to be targeted has been found from her possession, she was taken into custody in Afghanistan in 2008.
Later, it was reported that in the questioning room in Afghanistan, she snatched a rifle from one of the US Army officers and opened fire at investigating team.
In 2010, she was convicted by a New York City Federal Court of attempting to kill US military personnel. She is currently serving an 86-year sentence at Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.
Siddiqui was in news in 2018 when there were reports about a “deal” weaved between Islamabad and Washington DC to swap physician Dr Shakeel Afridi who aided the United States (US) to track down former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011 with Aafia Siddiqui.
Texas Synagogue hostage suspect dead: Police
The suspect who took hostages at the synagogue in the town of Colleyville, Dallas, demanding the release of the scientist, is dead.
“The suspect is deceased,” Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller said during a press conference on late Saturday (local time), explaining that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) rescue team had entered the synagogue in Colleyville and that all the three remaining hostages were rescued unharmed, Sputnik News Agency reported.
Earlier, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted that all hostages had been released from the synagogue and were alive and safe.
With input from agencies