Who is Aafia Siddiqui?: Aafia Siddiqui is an MIT-educated Pakistani neuroscientist. Her alleged links to Al Qaeda led to her disappearing for several years before she was eventually caught and convicted, in a New York courtroom, of attempted murder. On 26 May 2004, 33 years old Aafia Siddiqui and the mother of three young children became the worlds most wanted woman. Vogue.Upbringing: Aafia grew up in an affluent Urdu-speaking Muhajir, Deobandi family in Karachi. Although she was raised in a religious Muslim household, her parents also emphasized knowledge of and utilisation of scientific advances in their daily lives. Her parents hoped that the Muslim umma would be reunited under a truly Islamic government one day. Specifically, Aafias mother believed that colonialism had degraded the status of women in Islam throughout centuries. Her mother was of the belief that Muslim women should assert their right to education and control their money as stipulated by the Quran, and to ensure her daughters could back up any assertion with quotations from the Quran and from the traditions of the Prophet Mohammed, she taught them to memorize the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet Mohammed. Vogue.Happy Childhood: Her father, Mohammed Siddiqui, a physician, after completing his training in Britain, brought his family back to Karachi, where they moved into a large, white, bougainvillea-draped bungalow in the exclusive E section of the Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighborhood. In all likelihood, Aafia had a happy childhood full of pets and dolls. In an interview, Aafias elder sister Fowzia recalled Aafias childhood and said that Aafia couldnt stand to be yelled at, so she was obedient and eager to please. Vogue.Relation with General Zia ul-Haq: General Zia ul-Haq, who was a close family friend, seized power in a coup in 1977, boosting the Siddiquis hopes. Zia ul-Haq, with the intent on turning Pakistan into a truly Islamic state, set up a new court system to enforce sharia, or Islamic law, and when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Zia ul-Haq established hundreds of hard-line Islamic schools, or madrassas, including some in Aafias neighborhood, and as a sign of special favor, Ismat, the mother of Aafia, was given a seat on a council overseeing two special Islamic taxes intended for the poor. Vogue.Schooling: Until the age of eight, Aafia studied at a school in Zambia, and then she returned to Karachi, where she completed her primary and secondary schooling. The Making of a Homegrown Terrorist: Brainwashing Rebels in Search of a Cause By Peter A. Olsson MD.Higher Studies in the United States: Aafia and her siblings were gifted students, and their parents encouraged all three children to study in the United States. First, her brother, Muhammed, went to the States, where he became an architect in Houston, and then her sister, Fowzia, graduated from Harvard Medical School and became a neurologist. Aafia arrived in the States in 1990, where she earned a full scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after studying at the University of Houston for a year. In an interview, Aafias sister, Fowzia, recalled this and said, We all thought it was an honor and she deserved it. Reportedly, while she was studying at the University of Houston, her interests were limited, and she avoided movies, novels, and television, except for the news.A Bright Scholar: In 1992, Aafia spent six weeks in Pakistan as the recipient of a $5,000 Carrol L. Wilson traveling fellowship for outstanding students for her research proposal Islamization in Pakistan and its Effects on Women, and in 1993, she earned a $1,200 City Days fellowship to clean up Cambridge elementary school playgrounds. Vogue.MIT Days and Charity Work: While studying at MIT, Aafia lived in the all-female McCormick Hall. At MIT, proselytizing and charity work remained an important part of her life. As described by her fellow MIT students, she was religious, which was not unusual at the time, but she was not a fundamentalist, one of them stating that she was just nice and soft-spoken. At MIT, Aafia joined Muslim Students Association and started volunteering for the Al Kifah Refugee Center. Among al Kifahs members were those who assassinated Jewish ultranationalist Meir Kahane and helped Ramzi Yousef blow up the World Trade Center in 1993. In this undated photo provided by the law firm Whitfield, Sharp and Sharp, Aafia Siddiqui is shown after her graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Connection with Al-Kifah: The only woman known to have raised money for Al-Kifah regularly, Aafia was known for her ability to shame audiences into contributing to jihad. Several committed Islamists met her through the student association, including Suheil Laher, the imam, who publicly advocated Islamization and jihad before 9/11.An Effective Speaker: According to Evan F. Kohlmann, the author of the book Al-Qaidas Jihad in Europe, Aafia was an effective speaker. He says, he used to encourage Muslim men to be Muslim. She used to say that you should take care of your families and be the best Muslim you can. She used to say, Where are the Muslim men? Why do I have to be the one to get up here and talk? She wanted us to take a more proactive part in advancing the cause of Islam. Her voice was real sweet, but piercingly high. Some of the brothers used to say, Man, that sisters tough! .