Identified within the US as “The Blind Sheikh,” Abdel-Rahman died Saturday on the age of 78 within the Butner Federal Correctional Advanced close to the town of Raleigh because of “problems from diabetes and coronary artery illness,” in accordance with the jail spokesman, Greg Norton.
Abdel-Rahman, who was an influential activist cleric that opposed the Israeli regime and long-time Egyptian dictators Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, was jailed and tortured in his native nation earlier than immigrating in 1990 to the US, the place he led a congregation in Brooklyn neighborhood in New York, residence to a large inhabitants of Zionist Jews with shut ties to the Israel and militant settlers in unlawful settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.
On October 1, 1995, Abdel Rahman was convicted of conspiracy in an alleged and extremely controversial 1993 plot to conduct a number of bombings of main New York landmarks, together with the World Commerce Middle, enormous Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the UN headquarters and the large George Washington Bridge.
The blind cleric and his alleged co-conspirators weren’t immediately charged with the 1993 truck bombing of the World Commerce Middle, which killed six and injured greater than 1,000 others, however have been dominated responsible by the Federal District Court docket in Manhattan after a nine-month trial on sedition prices and conspiring with the perpetrators.
Within the trial – extremely influenced by pro-Israeli teams and lawmakers in New York — Abdel-Rahman was additional accused of urging the overthrow of US allies within the Center East and “convicted” of plotting to kill Mubarak, in addition to planning additional assaults as a part of a “battle of city terrorism” within the US. He was additionally accused of issuing a fatwa that led to the 1986 assassination of Sadat.
Prosecutors within the case argued that though the bombings he was accused of plotting by no means materialized, “the intent of the conspiracy was to destroy New York landmarks, kill a whole lot of individuals and power the US to desert its help for Israel and Egypt,” in accordance with The New York Occasions.
That is whereas the sheikh persistently maintained his complete innocence and at his sentencing he insisted that he had dedicated no crime “besides telling individuals about Islam.”
Among the many distinguished individuals calling for speedy launch of Abdel-Rahman was Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the nation’s former military chief and present President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
Abdel-Rahman’s protection lawyer, distinguished US legal professional Lynn Irene Stewart, who fervently argued for his innocence and insisted that he had been framed within the case, was finally accused of serving to move messages from Abdel-Rahman to his followers and convicted on prices of “conspiracy and offering materials help to terrorists” in 2005 and sentenced to 28 months in jail.
Stuart, who was robotically disbarred as the results of her conviction, was re-sentenced on July 15, 2010 to 10 years in jail on allegation of “perjury at trial” however was launched from jail on December 31, 2013 due to her terminal breast most cancers analysis.
US prosecutors later additionally linked Abdel-Rahman’s alleged followers to the 1990 assassination of radical New York Rabbi Meir Kahane in addition to assaults on vacationers in Egypt.
When the sheik was discovered responsible, Lynne Stewart wept in courtroom, saying, “I believed, and I consider at this time, that he’s wrongfully convicted.”
Kahane, who was additionally politically lively in Israel the place he led the fervently anti-Arab Kahane Chai Get together, led the infamous US-based Jewish Protection League group, which has performed quite a few acts of terror in opposition to Arab and Palestinian activists and lecturers throughout the US.
At present, the Kahane group is considered a terrorist group by the European Union, Canada, the US and even the Israeli regime.