Aafia Siddiqui (aka "lady al Qaida") is hardly a peaceful, innocent Muslim victim of overzealous U.S. law enforcement, but you'd hardly know it if from listening to American Islamists and their allies.
Two years ago, Siddiqui was convicted of attempting to murder American personnel in Afghanistan. She was sentenced to 86 years in prison for a July 2008 incident in which she grabbed a gun from a U.S. interrogator and opened fire on American and Afghan soldiers. A federal appellate court upheld the conviction and affirmed her sentence last month.
Siddiqui had been among the most wanted female jihadists. In 2003, 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed identified her as key al-Qaida operative during questioning.
Ayman al-Zawahiri (then Osama bin Laden's deputy) called for Muslims to "take revenge" on those who imprisoned her. He vowed Muslims will respond to such provocations "bombing for bombing, and killing for killing."
But this record hasn't discouraged U.S. Islamists and allies like former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., who appeared on Iranian and Libyan regime television last May to denounce the United States, from rallying to her defense.
During a visit to Islamabad on Tuesday, McKinney called for repatriating Siddiqui to Pakistan.The former congresswoman is visiting Pakistan as part of her "Give US our daughter back" campaign to repatriate the terrorist to that country, an epicenter of jihadist radicalism. McKinney, (who was joined by Sara Flounders of the International Action Center) called Siddiqui a "poor innocent woman" and a victim of "injustice" at a press conference in Islamabad.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) activists have been staunch defenders of Siddiqui as well. CAIR-New York, for example, has tweeted that activists should come out to protest Siddiqui's "unjust" 86-year sentence. Activists with the Muslim Alliance of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America and the American Muslim Alliance participated in a 2010 mobilization on Lady al-Qaida's behalf prior to sentencing.