Tags: mass | casualty | attack

Al-Qaida Operative Had List of U.S. Landmarks

By Jim Meyers   |   Wednesday, 03 Sep 2008 10:04 AM

A Pakistani neuroscientist indicted in New York on Tuesday was caught with notes that referred to a “mass casualty attack” and listed several landmarks including the Empire State Building.

The scientist, 36-year-old Aafia Siddiqui, has been described by U.S. officials as an al-Qaida operative. She was taken into custody in July after being found outside an Afghan police station with suspicious items in her possession, the New York Times reports.

The documents she carried described the production of explosives and chemical weapons, and also mentioned the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Authorities say that after she was taken into custody in the Afghan police station, she grabbed an unsecured rifle and fired at least two shots toward a U.S. soldier who was part of a team preparing to question her. No one was injured.

The indictment doesn’t charge Siddiqui with planning attacks on the landmarks. Instead she is accused of attempted murder, armed assault and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, according to The Times. She is being held without bail at a federal facility in Brooklyn.

Siddiqui’s attorney, Elizabeth Fink, said she planned to plead not guilty when arraigned on Thursday.

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