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Al-Qaeda suspect extradited to US

world Updated: Aug 05, 2008 10:26 IST

A Pakistani woman believed linked to Al-Qaeda who shot at US military officers while in detention in Afghanistan was extradited on Monday to the United States where she faces trial for her actions, a US attorney said.

Aafia Siddiqui, 36, a Pakistani and former US resident, was arrested on July 17 by police in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Michael Garcia said in a statement.

At the time of her arrest Siddiqui was carrying inside her handbag documents on how to make explosives and descriptions of various US landmarks, including in New York City, Garcia said, citing the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.

When US military officials arrived at her detention facility to pick her up one day after her arrest, Siddiqui rushed out from behind some curtains and opened fire on the Americans with an assault rifle one of them had left on the floor, Garcia said.

Siddiqui fired two rounds without hitting anybody but was shot in the chest by a US officer who returned fire. The suspect was subdued, treated for her wound, and extradited to New York.

She is scheduled to appear on Tuesday before a judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Siddiqui is charged with one count of attempting to kill US officers and employees, and one count of assaulting US officers and employees.

If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each charge, Garcia said.

Siddiqui was on a 2004 US list of suspects linked to Al-Qaeda.

The New York Times reported that Siddiqui studied at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) university, and vanished in 2003 while visiting relatives in Karachi, Pakistan.

The newspaper said that relatives and rights groups feared she was being held in a secret US prison.