The first interesting tidbit, rightly picked up by The News as worthy of the front-page, is that Aafia Siddiqui's uncle has given a sworn affidavit that his niece visited him in January 2008, asking for help to reach the Taliban in Afghanistan. Now, this has been reported earlier in the media. However, a signed affidavit carries a little bit more legal weight than media reports. And of course it puts into complete doubt Aafia's family's contention that she had been kidnapped in 2003.
In fact, the NYT piece also points out:
"Ms. Siddiqui’s first husband, Dr. Khan, who was questioned by Pakistani and F.B.I. officials and released, said that during Ms. Siddiqui’s disappearance, she was hiding in Pakistan. He says he saw her on two occasions."
The second bit of interesting information relates to children of Aafia Siddiqui, about whom there has been intense speculation. The NYT writes:
"[Aafia] was arrested in July 2008 in Ghazni, Afghanistan, with her eldest child, Ahmed, then 12, who told Afghan investigators they had arrived by road from Quetta, in southwestern Pakistan, two days before. … Ahmed was later sent to be with his aunt, Dr. Siddiqui. The other two children, Sulejman, 7, and Maryam, 12, remain missing, but their father says they have been seen at their aunt’s house."
If true, this would explain why Aafia's sister Fowzia Siddiqui has steadfastly refused to allow anyone to meet Ahmed or why the family does not seem to be terribly upset about the allegedly missing younger two children. Of course, the actual facts regarding the children remain to be proved.
The third interesting factoid is about Aafia's connections with Al Qaeda, which all of her supporters and family have done their best to gloss over. Aside from Aafia Siddiqui's and her family's repeatedly documented sympathies for the Taliban and the accusation that she helped open a post box in 2002 for an alleged Al Qaeda member, there is a bit of a more personal connection. From the NYT again:
"Divorced from her first husband, Dr. Muhammad Amjad Khan, the father of her three children, she married Ammar al-Baluchi, the nephew of the professed orchestrator of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, in early 2003, according to court documents filed in the United States. When the F.B.I. issued a global alert for her and her first husband in March 2003, she disappeared from her family home in Karachi, Pakistan. Her second husband, Mr. Baluchi, was arrested and is jailed at Guantánamo. Accused of a role in financing the Sept. 11 plot, he is among five detainees scheduled to be tried in the United States in the coming months in the attacks."
Wouldn't you say being related to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed through a marriage of choice - where exactly would a nice "qaum ki beti" have met someone like Ali Aziz Abdul Ali a.k.a. Ammar al-Baluchi one could be forgiven for asking Jamaat chief Munawwar Hassan - is more than a little suspicious? You want to know more about her current husband, who it turns out is also a cousin of Ramzi Yousef, the original World Trade Centre bomber? Here's some info on him.
As we said before, there is far more to this story than meets the eye. And it's about time our politicians and media charlatans stopped throwing dust in it.