On ISIS Encrypted Server, User Calls On Supporters To Send Letters To Jailed Pakistani Neuroscientist Linked To Al-Qaeda Aafia Siddiqui; Claims Her Sister Will Visit Her Soon

May 22, 2023

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On May 21, 2023, a user of the Islamic State (ISIS)-operated Rocket.Chat server published a post saying that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the Al-Qaeda-linked Pakistani neuroscientist incarcerated in the U.S. for attempting to kill a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, has been granted a visitation by her sister for the first time in 20 years.[1]

Providing an email address and a WhatsApp number, the post urged supporters to write short letters to Siddiqui to show her that "she has not been forgotten." The post highlighted that the deadline for submitting messages is May 24.

The post also featured a poster which appears to have been released by Documenting Oppression Against Muslims (DOAM), which identifies itself as an independent international organization.  The same text and poster were tweeted by the organization on May 21.[2]

The post read: "Dr Fowzia Siddiqui will be visiting Dr. Aafia Siddiqui for the first time in 20 years. Those who are willing to send a message to Aafia may send short letters/notes via: WhatsApp: [redacted] Email: [redacted]@gmail.com  NOTE: Please do write your name city and country. Pictures and drawings also welcome with a message so Aafia may know she is loved and not forgotten. Deadline: May 24, 12 Noon GMT+5."


Earlier this month, local media reported that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) was informed that a U.S. visa has been issued to Siddiqui's sister, who plans to visit her in prison during May 29 to 31.[3]

On December 7, 2022, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the Foreign Office of Pakistan to take up the issue of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui with the U.S. Ambassador in Pakistan. A movement in favor of Aafia Siddiqui's release, supported by Islamist groups worldwide, has emerged in the U.S., Pakistan, and other countries. In Pakistan, pro-Siddiqui groups have been pressuring the Pakistani government to negotiate her release from U.S. custody, even though she a U.S. citizen.[4]

Malik Faisal Akram, who attacked and seized hostages in a Texas synagogue on January 15, 2022, also demanded Siddiqui's release who is jailed in Texas. ISIS supporters praised Akram, describing his action as "jihad fisabilillah [for the sake of Allah]."[5]

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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