Terrorism runs in this family, according to federal prosecutors.
One of the Sept. 11 terror suspects due to be sent to New York for trial will face justice in the same federal courthouse where his wife is accused of separate terror-related charges.
Dr. Affia Siddiqi is already in New York on charges she allegedly tried to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Court records show Siddiqi's second husband is the suspected al Qaeda terrorist Ammar Al Baluchi. Al Baluchi, who is also known as Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, is one of five men set to be transferred from Gunatanamo Bay to New York for trial in connection with the 9/11 attacks. Al Baluchi is the nephew of self-proclaimed 9-/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Al Baluchi is accused of providing money and logistical support to the 9/11 hijackers.
Although they could end up on trial in the same courthouse, and even perhaps be held in the same prison, experts said the husband and wife will not be allowed to see one another. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined to comment on the connection.
Dr. Siddiqui, an MIT and Brandeis University educated scientist, was captured in Afghanistan. The FBI said while in custody, she was able to grab a soldier's weapon left on a floor near a curtain. Prosecutors said another soldier was able to stop her from shooting investigators who were on hand to question her.
Siddiqui's alleged al Qaeda connections are spelled out in court records. "Dr. Siddiqui's second husband Ammar Al Baluchi was arrested and transferred to Gunatanamo Bay," her psychological evaluation stated. "Dr. Siddiqui claims that she was unaware of his alleged connections to Al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization." It goes on to state she claims she did not know he was related to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
But investigators said she traveled overseas to meet with a man named Abu Lubabab who allegedly encouraged Siddiqui to engage in chemical warfare. When she was arrested, she was allegedly carrying a computer flash drive with documents related to chemical and biological attacks.
Siddiqui's lawyers did not return calls for comment Tuesday. Her lawyers had been trying to argue Siddiqui was mentally unstable and unfit to stand trial. Siddiqui, 37, is charged with attempted murder of U.S. nationals overseas.
By Jonathan Dienst