August 05, 2008

And So the Lies About Aafia Siddiqui Begin ...


I knew this was coming. The jihadi intertubes and their allies in the "human-rights movement" were all abuzz about "Prisoner 650" prior to the news that Aaifia Siddiqui was captured in Afghanistan on July 17th. According to various "rumors" a woman has been held by the U.S. at Bagram Air Base, tortured, and raped since 2003. Who started the rumor? None other than al Qaeda itself in a video called "Escape from Bagram" in which several al Qaeda members, including Abu Yahya al-Libi himself, claimed they tried to rescue the poor woman from the evil infidels.

Laughable, no? Well, no. Because tens of millions--possibly hundreds of millions--of Muslims actually believe that "Prisoner 650" exists.

Recently several "human rights groups" began to associate "Prisoner 650" with Aaifia Siddiqqui. Based on what? Nothing other than believing that "Prisoner 650" exists, that Siddiqqui was missing and wanted by the FBI, and one of Siddiqqui's uncles claiming he thought she had been picked up by the ISI for questioning.

If you looked closely at these "human rights groups" you'd see that they were not so much interested in, say, the rights of Tibetans for self-government as they are about getting Khalid Shiekh Mohammad martyr status. The most important being the self-styled "human rights" group at Cage Prisoners who are really a front for the followers of Omar Bakri Mohammed and Abu Hamza. Take a gander at the prisoners they're trying to get set free and you'll see names like Johnny Walker Lindh (admitted American Taliban), Jose Padilla (suspected in a plot to commit "dirty bomb" attacks), and, unsurprising, the blind mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdur Rahman.

Are we getting the picture here? The rumors that women were being held and tortured at Bagram Air Base by the U.S. was started by ... al Qaeda. The rumor that Aaifia Siddiqui was being held by the U.S. was started by ... Siddiqui's family, many of which are known al Qaeda sympathizers. On top of that, this is Pakistan we're talking about, where "facts" are often derived from rumors.

But who started the rumor that Aaifia Siddiqui was the alleged "Prisoner 650" that so many in the jihadi world are constantly fretting about? That rumor, as far as I can tell, was started by Yvonne Ridley, described in hardcore Islamist circles as a "respected journalist".

Last month this "respected journalist" flew to Pakistan to hold a press conference about "Prisoner 650--the Grey Lady of Bagram" and to agitate for the mythical figure's release. Attending the event and at Ridley's side was Imran Khan, a marginal Pakistani political figure and other seemingly legitimate "human rights activists".

The press conference was immediately picked up by the Iranian press, other Islamist outlets, and of course, the Western far-left.

Who put on the press conference? The aforementioned Cage Prisoners group of which Ridley is a member. Her first husband was Daoud Zaaroura, an officer in the PLO. Oh, she's also a politician on George Gallaway's "Respect" ticket. And a woman who claims the CIA is out to kill her.

Are you kind of seeing the big picture here yet? There is no evidence--NONE--that any women were EVER held at Bagram Air Base. There is no evidence--NONE--that Aafia Siddiqui was in U.S. custody prior to July 17th of this year when she was captured by Afghan soldiers. In fact, the U.S. DENIED rumors circulated by Siddiqui's extended family that she was in U.S. custody.


This does not mean that her capture story doesn't sound, er, strange and a bit hard to swallow--it may turn out to be a wee less exciting once the smoke clears--but it's fairly certain that she wasn't in U.S. custody prior to a few weeks ago.

With this all settled and part of the public record, then why is The UK's rag of record continuing to circulate this garbage?

For five years no one would say for certain whether Aafia Siddiqui, a mother of three with a PhD from an elite American university, was alive or dead. Her family did not know and authorities in Pakistan and the US were not saying.
Total falsehood. The U.S. was saying that not only did we not have Siddiqui, but:
The lead FBI investigating office in Boston also stated that as far as the FBI was aware, Siddiqui was not arrested by any other nation either.
The rest of the story goes on to repeat the lie that Siddiqui was, indeed, "Prisoner 650". The source?:
Siddiqui's sister, Fauzia, said she had been raped and tortured.

"Her rape and torture is a crime beyond anything she was accused of," said Fauzia Siddiqui. "This is the real crime of terror here."

The article, in true journalistic fashion, does give the U.S. side of the story, which is to deny pretty much all of the allegations and rumors first started by al Qaeda. But who gets the last word? The side which believes Siddiqui has been held in Bagram, tortured, raped, and lost her mind.

No less than seven full paragraphs devoted to the conspiracy theory side closes the story out. Here's the last full paragraph:

"They just release the information when it suits them ... everything we know about Bagram means that we know she [Siddiqui] would have suffered abuse," said Qureshi.
The reason this is a big deal is that tens if not hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world hate us because their news reports are filled with such libelous accounts. The reason so many fight us--and so many more support those who fight us--is because they truly believe that the American war in Afghanistan is one of aggression targeting Muslims. They believe that Americans--not as a matter of a few criminals engaging in unapproved of behavior-- but as a matter of U.S. policy tortures and rapes Muslim women.

They really believe this. Thank you Guardian for helping spread another blood libel started by al Qaeda and spread by their facilitators and the willingly ignorant.

UPDATE: Good news: al Qaeda conspiracy theories now being circulated at British taxpayer expense! Thanks to Fred Sled,

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:50 PM | Comments |