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How Aafia Saddiqui's case relates to the hostage taking incident in Texas

时间:2022-08-05 07:59来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

How Aafia Saddiqui's case relates to the hostage taking incident in Texas


When a gunman took hostages at a Texas synagogue, he invoked2 Aafia Saddiqui's name. NPR's A Martinez talks to Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Center about why she's in prison.


Police in Great Britain have announced they've arrested two more individuals in connection with a Texas synagogue attack. When a gunman took four people hostage last Saturday, including the rabbi, at Congregation Beth Israel near Fort Worth, he invoked the name of Aafia Siddiqui. She's a Pakistani neuroscientist who attended MIT and earned her doctorate3 at Brandeis. But in 2010, Siddiqui was convicted of attempting to kill American soldiers and officials while in Afghanistan. She's now serving an 86-year sentence in federal prison in Texas.

Last Saturday, those synagogue hostages managed to flee, and the gunman, a British man named Malik Akram, was killed. But authorities are still trying to piece together the man's motive4 and how Aafia Siddiqui's cause fits into it. I talked with Michael Kugelman, the deputy director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center, about that connection.

Michael, it's been years since we've even heard her name come up, so were you surprised to hear her name invoked?

MICHAEL KUGELMAN: Well, unfortunately, it wasn't too much of a surprise, just because over the last decade or so, a number of extremists, terrorists, militants5, radicals6 have invoked her name and tried to champion her cause. I mean, there have been several different terrorist groups that have demanded that she be released in return for U.S. captives. So in that sense, the fact that you would have this individual, who appears to be an extremist who came to the United States and did what he did - unfortunately, it's not the first time that someone like that has called for her release.

Now, there have been - she has a number of supporters, Siddiqui, that are not radicals, are not militants. They're very mainstream7. They're very peaceful. They don't want their cause to be hijacked9 by the types of people that have, in fact, tried to bring attention to her cause. But, yeah, Aafia Siddiqui - the name is certainly not very well-known in the United States. But within the network of Islamist militants, it's actually a household name.

MARTINEZ: Why is she still relevant today, though?

KUGELMAN: Well, it depends on the context. I think that for the militants and the radicals that feel so strongly about her, her story really feeds this victimization narrative10 that fuels the causes and actions of many Islamist militants - the idea being that Muslims are under siege by hostile actors and that they require supports. Now, for her more mainstream supporters, they see her as a symbol of the injustices11 of the U.S. legal system. They believe that she's been treated very poorly in her federal prison in Texas. And so these are the types of reasons why her cause has been kept alive by a lot of different types of individuals and groups.

MARTINEZ: We've seen that the British intelligence services have said the attacker was known to them. We've also seen reports of extremist British cleric Anjem Choudary recently urging supporters to help free Siddiqui. Is there a connection between the synagogue attacker and this cleric?

KUGELMAN: Well, I think at this point it's too early to know. Though, you know, naturally, once it became known that the synagogue attacker was British and had been based in the U.K., I mean, I myself and many others immediately thought of Anjem Choudary just because he is this very notorious hatemonger who has, indeed, as you suggest, brought attention to Siddiqui and has sought to have her released. But I think at this point, it's too early to know if there are any links between that person and this - and the person that attacked the synagogue. The investigation12 will make that clear.

But the bottom line is that they're just - they're - unfortunately, there are many extremists and people with nasty views that have tried to take up the cause of Siddiqui. And I emphasize, there are others that are not extremists, are not radicals, that want to bring attention to her cause for very different reasons. But unfortunately, there are a lot of bad actors out there that have sought to take a very strong position on Siddiqui's case.

MARTINEZ: And just wondering then - I know that the attacker came from the U.K., where there's a large Pakistani population. Is Aafia Siddiqui's name tied to any other attacks in Britain or somewhere else?

KUGELMAN: No, not that I know of. And it is notable that there have been a few cases in Pakistan of terrorist organizations carrying out attacks on the Pakistani state and have been justified13 on this idea that Pakistan's government did not do enough to protect Siddiqui, who, of course, again, is from Pakistan. And there is one case of an al-Qaida affiliate14 that had been accused of trying to plot an actual attack in the United States to try to free her. In other words, there had been an operation that had been plotted in which somehow something would be done to actually get her out of that prison in Texas. Obviously, nothing came of it. But, you know, clearly, it's very troubling when you hear that dangerous organizations have tried to hijack8 this cause and have tried to do things to bring attention to her plight15. So - and I think what happened here in the U.S. the other day is a reminder16 of how dangerous this phenomenon is.

MARTINEZ: And that attention that her cause is getting - I know Siddiqui's lawyer condemned17 the violence on the synagogue this past weekend, but she is serving a sentence of 86 years. Considering the attention this case has gotten, do you think Washington will ever release her, or does she even have a possibility of parole?

KUGELMAN: Well, it's interesting. That - back in 2014, Siddiqui had actually requested that she not pursue her last appeal of her conviction, and a U.S. judge granted that request. And, you know, as I understand it, her reasoning was that she had no faith in the U.S. legal system, and she didn't want to participate in it. And this is - you know, this is the type of defiance18 that really animates19 many of her supporters.

But, no, the chances of Siddiqui being released before what happened at the Texas synagogue were slim to none. And I think now it's even more unlikely that that would happen just because, you know, if there were to be even the suggestion with anyone in the U.S. government of receptivity to looking into the possibility of an early release or a swap20 or whatever the case may be, that would be perceived as essentially21 giving in to the demand of this extremist that stormed a synagogue in the U.S. and took hostages. So my sense is that I would be utterly22 flabbergasted if she were to be released. And at the end of the day, you know, U.S. officials - successive U.S. governments - believe unequivocally that Siddiqui is an unrepentant terrorist and that she must stay behind bars at all costs.

MARTINEZ: That's Michael Kugelman from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Michael, thank you.

KUGELMAN: Thank you.



1 transcript JgpzUp     
  • A transcript of the tapes was presented as evidence in court.一份录音带的文字本作为证据被呈交法庭。
  • They wouldn't let me have a transcript of the interview.他们拒绝给我一份采访的文字整理稿。
2 invoked fabb19b279de1e206fa6d493923723ba     
v.援引( invoke的过去式和过去分词 );行使(权利等);祈求救助;恳求
  • It is unlikely that libel laws will be invoked. 不大可能诉诸诽谤法。
  • She had invoked the law in her own defence. 她援引法律为自己辩护。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 doctorate fkEzt     
  • He hasn't enough credits to get his doctorate.他的学分不够取得博士学位。
  • Where did she do her doctorate?她在哪里攻读博士?
4 motive GFzxz     
  • The police could not find a motive for the murder.警察不能找到谋杀的动机。
  • He had some motive in telling this fable.他讲这寓言故事是有用意的。
5 militants 3fa50c1e4338320d8495907fdc5bdbaf     
激进分子,好斗分子( militant的名词复数 )
  • The militants have been sporadically fighting the government for years. 几年来,反叛分子一直对政府实施零星的战斗。
  • Despite the onslaught, Palestinian militants managed to fire off rockets. 尽管如此,巴勒斯坦的激进分子仍然发射导弹。
6 radicals 5c853925d2a610c29b107b916c89076e     
n.激进分子( radical的名词复数 );根基;基本原理;[数学]根数
  • Some militant leaders want to merge with white radicals. 一些好斗的领导人要和白人中的激进派联合。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The worry is that the radicals will grow more intransigent. 现在人们担忧激进分子会变得更加不妥协。 来自辞典例句
7 mainstream AoCzh9     
  • Their views lie outside the mainstream of current medical opinion.他们的观点不属于当今医学界观点的主流。
  • Polls are still largely reflects the mainstream sentiment.民调还在很大程度上反映了社会主流情绪。
8 hijack KdNxS     
  • Most countries refuse to give sanctuary to people who hijack aeroplanes.大多数国家拒绝对劫机者提供庇护。
  • The hijack take place just after the plane take off.劫持是飞机刚起飞后发生的。
9 hijacked 54f3e68c506e45e75f9a155a27738c2f     
劫持( hijack的过去式和过去分词 ); 绑架; 拦路抢劫; 操纵(会议等,以推销自己的意图)
  • The plane was hijacked by two armed men on a flight from London to Rome. 飞机在从伦敦飞往罗马途中遭到两名持械男子劫持。
  • The plane was hijacked soon after it took off. 那架飞机起飞后不久被劫持了。
10 narrative CFmxS     
  • He was a writer of great narrative power.他是一位颇有记述能力的作家。
  • Neither author was very strong on narrative.两个作者都不是很善于讲故事。
11 injustices 47618adc5b0dbc9166e4f2523e1d217c     
不公平( injustice的名词复数 ); 非正义; 待…不公正; 冤枉
  • One who committed many injustices is doomed to failure. 多行不义必自毙。
  • He felt confident that his injustices would be righted. 他相信他的冤屈会受到昭雪的。
12 investigation MRKzq     
  • In an investigation,a new fact became known, which told against him.在调查中新发现了一件对他不利的事实。
  • He drew the conclusion by building on his own investigation.他根据自己的调查研究作出结论。
13 justified 7pSzrk     
  • She felt fully justified in asking for her money back. 她认为有充分的理由要求退款。
  • The prisoner has certainly justified his claims by his actions. 那个囚犯确实已用自己的行动表明他的要求是正当的。
14 affiliate TVBzj     
  • Our New York company has an affiliate in Los Angeles.我们的纽约公司在洛杉矶有一个下属企业。
  • What is the difference between affiliate and regular membership?固定会员和附属会员之间的区别是什么?
15 plight 820zI     
  • The leader was much concerned over the plight of the refugees.那位领袖对难民的困境很担忧。
  • She was in a most helpless plight.她真不知如何是好。
16 reminder WkzzTb     
  • I have had another reminder from the library.我又收到图书馆的催还单。
  • It always took a final reminder to get her to pay her share of the rent.总是得发给她一份最后催缴通知,她才付应该交的房租。
17 condemned condemned     
adj. 被责难的, 被宣告有罪的 动词condemn的过去式和过去分词
  • He condemned the hypocrisy of those politicians who do one thing and say another. 他谴责了那些说一套做一套的政客的虚伪。
  • The policy has been condemned as a regressive step. 这项政策被认为是一种倒退而受到谴责。
18 defiance RmSzx     
  • He climbed the ladder in defiance of the warning.他无视警告爬上了那架梯子。
  • He slammed the door in a spirit of defiance.他以挑衅性的态度把门砰地一下关上。
19 animates 20cc652cd050afeff141fb7056962b97     
v.使有生气( animate的第三人称单数 );驱动;使栩栩如生地动作;赋予…以生命
  • The soul animates the body. 灵魂使肉体有生命。 来自辞典例句
  • It is probable that life animates all the planets revolving round all the stars. 生命为一切围绕恒星旋转的行星注入活力。 来自辞典例句
20 swap crnwE     
  • I will swap you my bicycle for your radio.我想拿我的自行车换你的收音机。
  • This comic was a swap that I got from Nick.这本漫画书是我从尼克那里换来的。
21 essentially nntxw     
  • Really great men are essentially modest.真正的伟人大都很谦虚。
  • She is an essentially selfish person.她本质上是个自私自利的人。
22 utterly ZfpzM1     
  • Utterly devoted to the people,he gave his life in saving his patients.他忠于人民,把毕生精力用于挽救患者的生命。
  • I was utterly ravished by the way she smiled.她的微笑使我完全陶醉了。
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