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Witness recalls Qaeda suspect struggle

Associated Press / January 21, 2010

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NEW YORK - An Army interpreter recounted yesterday how he subdued a US-trained Pakistani scientist prosecutors say tried to kill Americans during a shoot-out in an Afghan police station in the summer of 2008.

Ahmad Gul told a jury in federal court in Manhattan that he heard someone shout, “She got the gun!’’ before turning to see Aafit Siddiqui pointing an assault rifle at US soldiers and FBI agents in a tiny office.

“I right away lunged toward her and I pushed her toward the wall . . . and I pushed the [gun barrel] toward the ceiling,’’ he said on the second day of Siddiqui’s attempted murder trial.

Authorities allege Siddiqui, 37, is an Al Qaeda supporter who was detained on July 18, 2008, after she was caught carrying handwritten notes referencing a “mass casualty attack’’ and listing the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and other New York City landmarks.

They say that before she could be interrogated, she grabbed an M4 rifle a chief warrant officer had set down and open fire.

As Siddiqui struggled, she fired the weapon twice, Gul said. The chief warrant officer pulled a pistol and shot her in the stomach.

“When she got shot . . . she jerked and I snatched the gun away from her,’’ Gul said.

Siddiqui - a specialist in neuroscience who trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University - has insisted in courtroom rants that she’s innocent.

She also has refused to work with her defense lawyers, including some paid for by the Pakistani government.