(NEW YORK) -- Aafia Siddiqui was sentenced to 86 years in federal prison Thursday, following her February conviction for attempted murder of U.S. government officials. Siddiqui was allegedly caught in Afghanistan with cyanide, documents indicating attacks on the U.S., including landmarks in New York City, but the MIT-trained neuroscientist was tried and convicted in a simple criminal case for firing a rifle at FBI agents and U.S. soldiers.
Before Judge Richard Berman announced the sentence, Siddiqui gave a meandering 30-minute speech. "I didn't take any notes," she said. "I wasn't planning on speaking. I was planning on sleeping." She also asked the Muslims in the courtroom to forgive the court. "I don't want any bloodshed. I don't want any violence in my name."
Though Siddiqui was not charged with terrorism, terrorism enhancements were applied to her sentence. As Judge Berman was about to announce the sentence of 86 years, Siddiqui supporter Sara Flounders, an activist with the International Action Center, yelled, "Shame! Shame! Shame on this court!"
Siddiqui, 38, was convicted earlier this year after an often raucous trial that ended the way it began, with Siddiqui yelling at jurors and shouting to spectators.
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