Woman Dubbed Al-Qaida Backer Skips NY Arraignment

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New York (AP) An American-educated Pakistani woman who's been labeled an Al-Qaida supporter has refused to appear in federal court in New York today.

Aafia Siddiqui had been scheduled to appear to answer charges that she tried to kill U.S. soldiers and FBI agents after they detained her this summer in Afghanistan.

She'd been expected to plead not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges contained in an indictment unsealed earlier this week.

Prosecutors say that when taken into custody, she was carrying handwritten notes referring to a “mass casualty attack” and listing the empire state building and other New York landmarks.

In court, her lawyers told a judge their client didn't want to go through the humiliation of a strip-search -- a precaution taken with all prisoners when moved between federal lockups and courthouses.

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