LARRY NEUMEISTER

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -A judge has found a U.S.-trained scientist accused of being an al-Qaida operative competent to stand trial.

Judge Richard Berman made the ruling Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan. A trial for Aafia Siddiqui (AH'-fee-ah Sih-DEE'-key) is scheduled to begin Oct. 19.

Siddiqui was charged with shooting at U.S. soldiers and FBI agents after her capture in Afghanistan last summer.

The government said at a hearing earlier this month that she is faking mental illness to avoid trial. Her lawyer, Dawn Cardi, did not immediately respond to a message for comment, but has said she is unfit for trial.

Siddiqui studied at MIT and Brandeis University before she fled to her native Pakistan in 2003.