Omar Adbel-Rahman, the blind cleric who was found guilty of plotting the bombing of the World Trade Center and waging the "War of Ur...
Omar Adbel-Rahman, the blind cleric who was found guilty of plotting the bombing of the World Trade Center and waging the "War of Urban Terrorism" has died at the age of 78 at a federal prison near Raleigh, N.C., where he was serving a life sentence.
Adbel-Rahman was a renowned leader of the violent fundamentalist movements in Egypt, where followers of Islam slaughtered thousands of non-believers. Rahman developed close ties with two of Egypt's largest militant groups reigning terror across the country in the name of Isalmic fundamentalism, a movement that sought to bring back traditional Muslim values and beliefs to the land of Egypt.
|Omar Adbel-Rahman developed a habit of wearing a Santa hat and glasses, an ironic look he developed considering his allegiance to Islam.|
In 1993, Adbel-Rahman was arrested in New York City along with nine others and convicted of a bombing plot of the World Trade Center. Adbel-Rahman was convicted, and sentenced to life in federal prison for his role in the plotting, but as well as prior investigation into his ties with terrorism across the globe. Prior to his life sentence, Abdel-Rahman was imprisoned and spent three years in an Egypt prison while awaiting trail in the 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat, the former President of Egypt. Adbel-Rahman was acquitted and not convicted, yet was expelled from Egypt following his trial. After the trial, Adbel-Rahman traveled to Afghanistan in the mid 1980's and formed a relationship with Osama Bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam, co-founder Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK), a terrorist group organized by Bin Laden and Azzam. During his time in Afghanistan, Adbel-Rahman built a strong rapport with Bin Laden during the Soviet War, and following Azzam's murder in 1989, he assumed control of the international jihadist arm of MAK in Al Qaeda. In 1990, Adbel-Rahman traveled to New York City to gain control of MAK's financial and organizational infrastructure in the United States. Just three years later, Adbel-Rahman was arrested and convicted as a major role in the infamous 1993 World Trade Center bombing plot, and sentenced to life in prison. It becomes clear in understanding that Adbel-Rahman's plan to bring down the Twin Towers was to crush the American economy, and boost MAK's financial stability.
The bombing plot by Adbel-Rahman and his team of nine others was more than just a plot, as Adbel-Rahman was linked back to the actual attack that left six people dead and more than 1,000 injured at the basement bombing in the Manhattan landmark. Investigations connected Adbel-Rahman to the attack when it was discovered the other suspects frequently visited the New Jersey mosque where he preached. Rahman denied involvement in the bombing, but in August of 1993, he was indicted for his involvement in a broader terrorist plot that included the bombing on the World Trade Center. In 1995, he was convicted of seditious conspiracy and sentenced to life in prison.
During his prosecution, Rahman delivered a long, intense speech in Arabic calling the accusations against him nothing more than "an extension of the American war against Islam", he told a judge through an interpreter. During his nine month trial, his defense attorney argued that Rahman, a blind cleric, was just a spiritual leader being prosecuted for his speech.
Behind bars, Adbel-Rahman was still the leader of Al-Jama's al-Islamiyya. In 1997, that terrorist group took responsibility of the Luxor massacre, in which 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians were killed, leading to the assumption that Adbel-Rahman was still operating while in prison.
Rahman was battling with diabetes and heart disease throughout his life in prison, but his specific cause of death is currently unknown.
|The blind sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, has died at 78.|