Federal jury convicts Pakistani woman of attempted murder of US personnel

A jury in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York Feb. 3 convicted Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman with alleged ties to al-Qaeda, on charges of attempting to murder US personnel at the Afghan facility where she was being held. Prosecutors claimed that while in US custody in Afghanistan, Siddiqui lunged for and grabbed an unsecured M-4 rifle and opened fire on her captors. US personnel returned fire, injuring Siddiqui—who denies both handling the weapon and attacking the personnel. In addition to two counts of attempted murder, the jury found Siddiqui guilty of armed assault against US officers, and using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. The jury found that the attempted murders were not premeditated. Neither Siddiqui nor her lawyers have announced whether they will appeal the verdict. Sentencing is scheduled for May. (Jurist, Feb. 4)

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  1. Texas hostage crisis concerned Qaeda convict

    An hours-long hostage situation at a synagogue in the Dallas-Fort Worth area came to a conclusion late Jan. 15 with all of the hostages safe, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. An armed suspect claiming to have bombs at unknown locations took a rabbi and three others hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville. The FBI responded to the scene, along with local authorities and hostage negotiators. An explosion and gunshots were heard, and the hostage-taker apparently lost his life. He was said to be demanding the release of convicted al-Qaeda militant Aafia Siddiqui, who is incarcerated at Carswell Air Force Base near Fort Worth. (ABC News, Religion News Service)