- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Egyptian terrorist commonly known as “The Blind Sheikh,” has died in prison, his family said Saturday. He was 78.

Abdel-Rahman’s family was notified of his death over the phone by an unnamed U.S. representative, his son Ammar told Reuters. He died from natural causes, NBC News reported.

The outspoken Muslim cleric had been accused of being the leader of a militant Sunni Islamist movement in Egypt, “The Islamic Group,” prior to entering the United States in 1990. Five years later he was convicted of seditious conspiracy after prosecutors connected him to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and other plans to target various landmarks throughout New York City. He was subsequently sentenced to life in solitary confinement without parole.

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Osama Bin Laden, the slain Al Qaeda leader, pledged a jihad in 2000 to free Abel-Rahman from prison, Reuters reported. The following year he orchestrated the atttack that toppled the World Trade Center and claimed the lives of roughly 3,000 people.

Abdel-Rahman, who lost his eyesight during infancy, had been serving his life sentence at the Butner Medical Center, a federally-operated Bureau of Prisons facility located within the Butner Federal Correctional Institution northeast of Durham, N.C.

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