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Pakistani accused of shooting at U.S. officers extradited to U.S.

  • Story Highlights
  • Aafia Siddiqui had been sought by FBI for several years for terrorism
  • She faces federal charges of attempted murder and assault of a U.S. officer
  • Siddiqui allegedly shot at 2 FBI agents, military officers and interpreters
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A Pakistani scientist accused of shooting at U.S. officers while in Afghan custody last month has been extradited to the United States, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Aafia Siddiqui allegedly shot at U.S. officers while in Afghan custody last month.

Aafia Siddiqui, who the FBI had sought for several years for terrorism, faces federal charges of attempted murder and assault of a U.S. officer and U.S. employees, federal authorities said.

The 36-year-old Siddiqui is an American-educated neuroscientist and a suspected member of al Qaeda. If convicted, she faces a maximum of 20 years on each charge.

On July 18 Siddiqui shot at two FBI special agents, a U.S. Army warrant officer, an Army captain and military interpreters who unknowingly entered a room where she was being held unsecured at an Afghan facility, officials said.

Siddiqui was behind a curtain when she used an officer's rifle to shoot at the group, officials said. She shot twice but hit no one, they said. The warrant officer returned fire with a pistol, shooting Siddiqui at least once. She struggled with the officers before she lost consciousness, and was then given medical attention.

The day before the shootings, Afghan police arrested Siddiqui outside the Ghazni governor's compound where they found bomb-making instructions, excerpts from the "Anarchist's Arsenal," papers with descriptions of U.S. landmarks and substances sealed in bottles and glass jars, U.S. officials said Monday.

Since 2003, Siddiqui's whereabouts were the source of much speculation. She and her three small children were reportedly apprehended in Karachi, Pakistan, in March 2003 after the FBI issued an alert for information about her location earlier that month, according to Amnesty International.

It was the first time the FBI issued a worldwide alert for a woman in connection to al Qaeda.

Several reports indicated that Siddiqui was arrested in Karachi in 2003 and was in U.S. custody at a base outside Kabul, Afghanistan. And initial reports from U.S. officials said Pakistani officials indicated she was in custody there.

But the FBI later said she was missing, and in May 2004 then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller identified Siddiqui among several sought-after al Qaeda members.

However, Amnesty International included her on a June 2007 list as someone for whom there was "evidence of secret detention by the United States and whose fate and whereabouts remain unknown."

Government sources have said that al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed named Siddiqui among al Qaeda's operatives.

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