NEW YORK (CN) – A Pakistani neuroscientist was arrested and charged with assaulting and trying to murder U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The government filed charges against Aafia Siddiqui, 36, in the Southern District of New York, claiming she grabbed a warrant officer’s M-4 rifle, pointed it at a U.S. army captain and pulled the trigger.
A nearby interpreter was able to push the rifle away as she fired two shots, deflecting the bullets, the complaint states. The warrant officer returned fire with a 9 mm service pistol, firing about two shots, one of which hit her in the torso.
As officers tried to subdue her, she allegedly hit and kicked them, while shouting in English that she wanted to kill Americans.
She had been taken into custody for questioning after members of the Ghazni Province Afghanistan National Police found her wandering outside the Ghazni governor’s compound. They searched her handbag and allegedly found documents on how to make explosives, excerpts from the “Anarchist’s Arsenal,” and descriptions of U.S. landmarks, the complaint states. Prosecutors say she also carried various substances sealed in bottles and glass jars.
Siddiqui was charged with one count of trying to murder U.S. officers and employees and one count of assaulting them. If convicted, she faces up to 40 years in prison.
She is due to be arraigned in New York on Tuesday.