Lawyer: Female al-Qaida suspect was set up

/ Source: The Associated Press

A lawyer for a Pakistani woman charged with trying to kill U.S. military officers in a gunfight in Afghanistan accused the government on Wednesday of setting up her client by planting evidence on her.

The lawyer, Elizabeth Fink, also accused the government of trying to poison the court process by leaking information about her client, Aafia Siddiqui, who was brought to the United States a week ago to face federal charges.

Siddiqui was arrested July 17 after she was found outside a governor's compound in central Afghanistan's Ghazni province carrying documents describing U.S. landmarks and containing recipes for chemical weapons, along with bottles and jars of chemicals, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in New York.

Siddiqui was shot July 18 after she snatched a soldier's rifle, pointed it at an Army captain and fired two shots, which missed, the affidavit said. Her family has denied the accusations.

Lawyer: Client is ‘the ultimate victim’
ABC News reported Tuesday that Siddiqui had been carrying maps of New York and a list of potential terrorism targets, including the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the subway system and an animal disease center, when she was taken into custody.

On Wednesday, the network reported that Siddiqui also was plotting to kill former Presidents Carter and Bush and to attack the White House.

Fink said her client was a victim of dirty tricks by the U.S. government.

"Of course they found all this stuff on her. It was planted on her," Fink said. "She is the ultimate victim of the American dark side."

A government spokeswoman declined comment Wednesday.

Accusations of abuse
Fink said a doctor examined Siddiqui's bullet wounds on Tuesday, a day after a judge ordered the government to provide her with medical care. She said she could not comment on what the doctor found.

Fink said her client had been tortured overseas and was facing continued abuse in the United States.

If convicted, Siddiqui faces up to 20 years in prison on an attempted murder charge and on an assault charge.