'Blind Sheikh' Omar Abdel-Rahman dies in USA prison, says daughter

Blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, linked to 1993 World Trade Center bombing, dies at 78

Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian radical who maintained a global following even while imprisoned for more than two decades, died Saturday morning at Butner Federal Medical Center in North Carolina, where he was serving a life sentence.

His son Ammar told Reuters that his family had received a phone call from a us representative saying his father had died.

Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was originally from Egypt but living in Jersey City when followers detonated a truck bomb in the garage of the WTC on February 26, 1993, died early Saturday, the AP said. Abdel-Rahman planned to bomb several landmarks on a single day in 1993, including the United Nations, the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels and George Washington Bridge.

Rahman entered the United States in 1990.

Abdel-Rahman fled Egypt to the U.S.in 1990 and began teaching in a New Jersey mosque.


Abdel-Rahman eventually moved to Afghanistan and developed a strong relationship with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Although Abdel-Rahman was not convicted in the Sadat assassination, he was expelled from Egypt following his acquittal. Eight years later, on September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing almost 3,000 people.

Abdel Rahman, who was born in a village along the Nile on May 3, 1938, grew up studying a Braille version of the Quran. He was also convicted of plotting to kill Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek. But in 1991 he was given a green card and permanent resident status in the U.S.

Rahman and nine of his followers were arrested in June 1993.

Abdel-Rahman's family, supporters, and Egyptian human rights organisation had demanded in recent years that he be returned to Egypt due to his deteriorating health condition.

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