Captured MIT Grad Linked to Trove of al-Qaeda Secrets

Pakistani was carrying maps, target lists—and emails
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2008 4:26 AM CDT
Terror suspect Aafia Siddiqui is shown shortly after her capture by counter terrorism officers in Ghazni City, Afghanistan, last month.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A suspected al-Qaeda operative arrested in Afghanistan last month could provide a treasure trove of intelligence about terrorist sleeper cells in the US and abroad, government sources tell ABC News. MIT graduate Aafia Siddiqui, 36, was captured carrying maps of New York, a list of potential targets, information on chemical weapons, and a cache of emails, according to authorities.

The information found in the Pakistani woman's handbag makes her “the most significant capture in 5 years,” said a former CIA officer. “We knew that she had been involved in the planning of a wide variety of different operations.” In 2004 Siddiqui became the first woman wanted by the government because of links to al-Qaeda.