An 11-year-old boy detained along with a female al Qaeda suspect now in U.S. custody appears to be the woman's son, according to U.S. Attorney Michael J. Garcia.
Garcia, who is prosecuting the mother, made the assertion in a letter received Friday by Siddique's lawyer, Elizabeth Fink. A redacted copy of the letter was provided to ABC News.
Unlike Siddique, who is being held in a federal prison in Brooklyn, the boy is being held by the Afghan authorities, Garcia wrote in his letter. According to the letter, the results of a DNA test showed the boy's DNA "was consistent with that of a potential offspring of Aafia Siddiqui."
More tests are being done, Garcia wrote, and they should be completed this week. U.S. authorities also compared a passport photo of Siddique's son, Mohammed Ahmed, to the boy held in Afghanistan and believed they appeared to be the same person.
The boy told U.S. agents who interviewed him that "he is an orphan and that his parents were killed in an earthquake in Pakistan around October 2005," Garcia wrote. He said Siddique, the woman U.S. authorities now believe to be his mother, was named "Saliha," and that he had been traveling with her "since shortly after his parents died," wrote Garcia.
Garcia noted in his letter that the State Department had been told of the boy's status. In an interview with ABC News, Fink noted that the boy was born in Boston and is a U.S. citizen.
"The child is an American citizen, he is not a Pakistani citizen," Fink said. She said the State Department should collect the child from the Afghan authorities.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Garcia declined to comment on the letter. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment made Monday evening.
Both the boy and Siddique, a 36-year-old MIT-trained behavioral neuroscientist, were picked up by Afghan National Police earlier this month. When she was apprehended, sources told ABC News, Siddique had in her possession maps of New York, a list of potential targets that included the Statue of Liberty and Times Square, and detailed chemical, biological and radiological weapon information that has been seen only in a handful of terrorist cases. Some have dubbed her a terrorist "Mata Hari."
The U.S. Attorney's office released the letter after Fink spoke at a press conference Monday evening in Brooklyn organized by the Dr. Aafia Siddiqui Defense Committee. Ryan Hancock, a Philadelphia-based civil rights attorney and spokesman for the committee, said his group was a loose-knit collection of civil rights attorneys and Pakistani-Americans who believe the United States' case against Siddiqui is purely political.
In the interview, Fink said she was also concerned about Siddique's medical condition. She was shot twice in the stomach when she was arrested by U.S. authorities, after she allegedly attempted to kill American personnel using a guard's rifle.
Siddique has recently refused to meet with her lawyers, Fink said, because the prison which holds her changed its policy and now requires Siddiqe to undergo a full strip search before meeting visitors. The abdominal wound and other health problems recently observed during a medical examination make it too painful for Siddique to undergo a full-body search, Fink said.
The prison's spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.