An Unlikely Story
Afia Siddiqui's story seems improbable, no matter which version you believe. If you trust the US story, you have to imagine that Afia Siddiqui succeeded in hiding for more than five years -- despite the intense interest of US and Pakistani intelligence services - then decided to pop up in Afghanistan with an all-purpose terrorism kit, and then, upon her arrest, decided to take advantage of a security lapse to blast away at US soldiers and FBI agents. More than the al Qaeda mom, as the New York Post dubs her, she would have to be al Qaeda's Angelina Jolie.
The claim that she was hidden away in secret detention all these years might seem equally unlikely. But when one realizes that the people she was allegedly linked to were themselves held in secret detention, and that the Pakistani intelligence services were covertly arresting dozens of people in Karachi during this period, the story gains plausibility.
Because Afia Siddiqui's disappearance fit neatly into a larger pattern, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and several other human rights groups included Afia on a 2007 list of people suspected to have been in CIA custody.
Although the US government has denied that the United States held Siddiqui during the period of her disappearance, the federal court that is hearing her case should facilitate an in-depth investigation of her lawyers' claims. The possibility that Siddiqui was held for five years in secret detention before her official arrest is not only deeply relevant to her mental state at the time of the alleged crimes, it goes to the integrity of the court's jurisdiction.