Ahmed Siddiqui (American youth)

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For other individuals see Ahmed Siddiqui
Ahmed Siddiqui
Ahmed Siddiqui, son of Aafia Siddiqui, in US custody, in 2008.
Ahmed Siddiqui, son of Aafia Siddiqui, in US custody, in 2008.
Born 1996
Nationality American, Pakistani
Known for held in secret CIA detention camps

Ahmed Siddiqui (b. 1996) is an American of Pakistani descent who described being kidnapped with his mother and two younger siblings in March of 2003.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Life in the US

Ahmed's parents had been students in the United States in the 1990s, where his mother Aafia Siddiqui earned a PhD in biochemistry. While living in the US his parents started a charity. They would later be identified as suspected terrorists. Ahmed and his younger sister were born in the US, and lived there until 2002, when his parents returned to Pakistan, and their marriage broke up. Aafia was pregnant when the marriage broke up, and his younger brother was born in Pakistan in late 2002 or early 2003.

Arrival in Pakistan, 2002

After the marraige broke up Aafia made a trip back to the United States, to look for an academic job. In March 2003 Aafia and all three children were living with relatives in Karachi, Pakistan.

Disappearance, March 2003

Aafia and all three children disappeared during a trip to Karachi airport on March 23, 2003. Aafia's relatives went on record with their belief that her ex-husband's denunciations had led to the capture of Aafia and her children by security officials, and that they were being held in secret prisons. Her ex-husband claimed she was at large, living underground, as a ploy to prevent him getting access to his children.

President Asif Ali Zardari request

According to the Arab News Pakistan's President, Asif Ali Zardari, had personally requested Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai return Dr Aafia's children to their family in Pakistan.[13]

Reappearance and capture, Ghazni Afghanistan, July 2008

In the summer of 2008 Aafia and a teenage boy were reported to have been apprehended by Afghan police.[1] It was later confirmed that the teenage boy was her eldest son Ahmed.

Transfer to the custody of Pakistani security officials

On August 26 2008 The United States State Department confirmed that the youth captured with Aafia Siddiqi on July 17, 2008 was her son, American citizen Ahmed Siddiqi.[16]

Ahmed was transferred to the custody of Pakistani security officials.[17][18][19][20] Joanne Mariner, Director of Human Rights Watch, criticized Afghanistan officials for transferring Ahmed to Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security -- the NDS due to its reputation for using torture as an interrogation tool. Mariner pointed out that under both Afghan law Ahmed was too young to be held criminally responsible.

Return to the custody of his maternal family

Ahmed was returned to the custody of his maternal family, while his mother was taken to New York City to stand trial for attempted murder. The whereabouts of Ahmed's younger siblings remained a mystery. During her interrogations following her 2008 arrest Aafia described visions of her youngest son as an angel, as he had died in custody with her during the period 2003-2008.

When a girl who may have been his younger sister Maryam was returned to the Ahmed's family, tests to confirm her identity were inconclusive.[10] His aunt Fawzia expressed doubt that the girl was her neice Maryam. The Daily Times reported that the girl was only able to speak English and Dari, a dialect of the Persian language, and that when Ahmed was returned he too could only speak English and Dari.

First public statement

In late August 2010, British journalist Yvonne Ridley, who had first reported that Aafia and her children had been held in the Bagram Theater internment facility reported that she had acquired a statement taken from Ahmed in 2008.[2] She reported that the statement was taken from Ahmed by an American official when he was released.

The statement is the first from Ahmed.[2] The statement is the first to appear to confirm Aafia's dream that her youngest child was dead. The statement, as quoted by Ridley, read:

“I do not remember the date but it seems a long time ago i remember we were going to Islamabad in a car when we were stopped by different cars and high roof ones. My mother was screaming and I was screaming as they took me away, I looked around and saw my baby brother on the ground and there was blood. My mother was crying and screaming. Then they put something on my face. I smelt and don’t remember anything.
“I woke up I was in a room. There were American soldiers in uniform and plain clothes people. They kept me in different places. If I cried or didn’t listen, they beat me and tied me and chained me. There were English speaking, Pashto and Urdu speaking. I had no courage to ask who they were. At times, for a long time, I was alone in a small room. Then I was taken to some childrens prison where there were lots of other children.
“The American Consular [sic], who came to me in Kabul jail, said, ‘Your name is Ahmed. You are American. Your mother’s name is Aafia Siddiqui and your younger brother is dead. After that they took me away from the kids’ prison and I met the Pakistani consular [sic], and I talked to my aunt (Fowzia Siddiqui)”.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s son handed over to Pakistan". Chowrangi. 2008-09-15. http://www.chowrangi.com/dr-aafia-siddiquis-son-handed-over-to-pakistan.html. Retrieved 2010-08-24. "In a recent development, Afghan government handed over Aafia Siddiqui’s son to Pakistani officials."  mirror
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "FIRST PUBLIC STATEMENT FROM AAFIA’S SON ON HIS DISAPPEARANCE AND DETENTION". Justice for Aafia. 2010-08-24. http://www.justiceforaafia.org/articles/press-releases/604-first-public-statement-from-aafias-son-on-his-disappearance-and-detention. Retrieved 2010-08-24. "JFAC today circulate a sensational statement from Ahmed Siddiqui, the eldest son of Aafia Siddiqui, which he made to an intelligence officer after he was released from US custody in 2008. In it, he discloses for the first time the details of their abduction in 2003 and some information about his detention in the five years in which he was missing. The statement is extracted from a document provided to British journalist, Yvonne Ridley." 
  3. "Aafia’s abduction from Karachi, LHC told". Pakistan Tribune. 2010-08-03. http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?230177. Retrieved 2010-08-24. "He further said that Aafia’s son was also unable to substantiate presumption about their kidnapping from Pakistan." 
  4. "Afghanistan: Free Aafia Siddiqui's 11-Year-Old Son". Reuters. 2010-08-27. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/HRW/1280d03ef046c4a98d77f73ed6ad292b.htm. Retrieved 2010-10-22. "According to an Afghan Interior Ministry official quoted in the Washington Post, Ahmed Siddiqui was held briefly by the Interior Ministry after the arrest, and then transferred to the custody of the Afghan National Security Directorate (NDS), the country's intelligence agency. His current whereabouts are unknown. The NDS is notorious for its brutal treatment of detainees."  mirror
  5. "Dr. Aafia’s son freed by Kabul, flown to Islamabad". Wikinews. 2008-09-22. http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/2008-09-22:_Dr._Aafia%E2%80%99s_son_freed_by_Kabul,_flown_to_Islamabad. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  6. Faraz Khan (2008-08-08). "‘MI handed Dr Aafia over to US’". Daily Times. Archived on 2011-02-11. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=Template:Namespace detect showall. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\08\08\story_8-8-2008_pg7_7. "Sources close to the matter claimed the Interior Ministry asked the provincial home departments for detailed reports on missing persons a couple of weeks ago, and that the list prepared by the Sindh Home Department included Dr Siddiqui and her three children, Maryam, Ahmed and Suleman. The report confirmed MI detained Dr Siddiqui and her three children in Gulshan-e-Iqbal on March 30, 2003, later handing her over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)."  mirror
  7. "Islamabad: Homeland security". Daily Times. 2008-09-16. Archived on 2011-02-11. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=Template:Namespace detect showall. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\09\16\story_16-9-2008_pg1_10. "He has been in Afghan custody since July, when his mother was detained outside the Governor’s House in Ghazni province"  mirror
  8. "Police record statement of Dr Aafia’s son". Daily Times. 2010-01-19. Archived on 2011-02-11. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=Template:Namespace detect showall. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\01\19\story_19-1-2010_pg7_45. "Ahmed said the Red Cross, a human rights organisation, had contacted him in 2008 for the first time. Khuso said Ahmed could speak English and Darri languages that he had learnt in Kabul."  mirror
  9. Faraz Khan (2010-001-29). "Dr Aafia case: Police look for eyewitnesses after 7 years". Daily Times. Archived on 2011-02-11. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=Template:Namespace detect showall. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\01\29\story_29-1-2010_pg12_4. "The 13-year-old son of Dr Aafia, Muhammad Ahmed, pointed out the location and told the police that on March 30, 2003, when he along with his mother came out of their house 140-E, Block 7, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, some 15-20 people including a ‘white lady’ who were waiting in three to four vehicles on the next street kidnapped them."  mirror
  10. 10.0 10.1 Faraz Khan (2010-04-10). "12-year-old girl left outside residence of Dr Aafia’s sister: Is the mystery girl Dr Aafia’s daughter?". Daily Times. Archived on 2011-02-11. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=Template:Namespace detect showall. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\05\story_5-4-2010_pg12_1. "Conversely, sources privy to the matter told Daily Times on the condition of anonymity that the girl who was brought to Fauzia’s residence could speak only English and Dari languages; and since her brother Ahmed was also able to speak these languages when he had returned home, this suggests that the mysterious girl is Maryam."  mirror
  11. Mohit Joshi (2008-09-20). "Pak Government can bring back Aafia in a day". Top News. Archived on 2011-02-11. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=Template:Namespace detect showall. http://www.topnews.in/pak-government-can-bring-back-aafia-day-269266. "We will conduct a physical, mental and psychological check-up of Ahmed. I am very happy for his arrival and hope that Aafia and the remaining two children will also return soon."  mirror
  12. ""Terror suspect" Dr Aafia's son Ahmed handed over to Pak". Karachi News. 2008-09-15. Archived on 2011-02-11. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=Template:Namespace detect showall. http://www.karachinews.net/story/406610. "According to Pakistan foreign ministry sources, officials of Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Kabul after which Afghanistan's interior ministry official Daud Panj Sheri handed over Muhmmad Ahmed to Pakistani ambassador Asif Durrani, reported The News."  mirror
  13. 13.0 13.1 Azhar Masood (2008-09-15). "Afghanistan frees son of Pak scientist held by US". Arab News. Archived on 2011-02-11. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=Template:Namespace detect showall. http://archive.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=114354&d=16&m=9&y=2008. "According to Foreign Ministry sources, Pakistani and Afghan officials met yesterday in Kabul where the Afghan government handed over custody of Siddiqui’s son Muhammad Ahmed to Pakistani authorities. Siddiqui’s 11-year-old son was with his mother when she was detained while allegedly carrying designs for explosive devices and descriptions of US landmarks in her handbag."  mirror
  14. "Dr. Aafia’s son arrives; handed over to family". Pakistan Times. 2008-09-16. Archived on 2011-02-11. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=Template:Namespace detect showall. http://www.pakistantimes.net/2008/09/16/top8.htm. "Naeem Khan said Muhammad Ahmed was in good physical and mental health and ‘he is OK and fine.’ To a question about other two children (son and daughter) of Dr. Aafia, he said only Muhammad Ahmed was in custody of Afghanistan and he does not know whereabouts of the other children."  mirror
  15. "Dr. Aafia’s son returns home". Geo TV. 2008-09-15. Archived on 2011-02-11. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=Template:Namespace detect showall. http://www.geo.tv/9-15-2008/24917.htm. "Muhammad Ahmed was 5 when he was caught with his mother from Karachi in 2003 is now 10 years old. Pakistani and US authorities have been denying such arrest."  mirror
  16. Carol D. Leonnig, Candace Rondeaux (2008-08-26). "Afghan Officials Detain American Boy, U.S. Says: Mother Held by U.S. as Al-Qaeda Suspect". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/25/AR2008082502835_pf.html. Retrieved 2010-10-22.  mirror
  17. Joanne Mariner (2008-09-08). "The Strange and Terrible Case of Aafia Siddiqui". Findlaw. http://writ.news.findlaw.com/mariner/20080908.html. Retrieved 2010-10-22. "Under Afghan and international law, Ahmed Siddiqui is too young to be treated as a criminal suspect. Under Afghanistan's Juvenile Code, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 13. And according to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which monitors the treatment of children globally, a minimum age of criminal responsibility below age 12 is "not ... internationally acceptable.""  mirror
  18. "Aafia’s son to reunite with family soon: Afghan FM". Dawn (Newspaper). 2008-08-31. http://www.dawn.com/2008/08/31/top7.htm. Retrieved 2010-10-22. "The New York-based Human Rights Watch this week urged the Afghan government to free the child, a US citizen."  mirror
  19. Tim Bella (2008-08-29). "State Dept. Official: Trying to Confirm Son’s Identity, Citizenship". Propublica. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwrit.news.findlaw.com%2Fmariner%2F20080908.html&date=2010-10-22. Retrieved 2010-10-22. "What happens when an 11-year-old U.S. citizen is held by Afghanistan’s intelligence service? According to the U.S. State Department, not much, at least for now."  mirror
  20. "Afghanistan will free son of Pak scientist `soon`: Minister". Hamropalo. 2008-08-30. http://hamropalo.com/world/afghanistan-will-free-son-of-pak-scientistsoon-minister.html. Retrieved 2010-10-22. "The young son of Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui will be returned to his family “soon” by Afghanistan after he was arrested with her more than a month ago, Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta said Saturday."  mirror