Washington, Jan 14: The head of the US House Homeland Security Committee has urged President Barack Obama not to cave in to renewed pleas by Egyptian authorities to release the “Blind Sheikh”, who had been a convicted terrorist ‘with American blood on his hands.”
U.S. Representative for Texas Michael McCaul asked Obama to stand firm on the issue and warned that releasing Omar Abdel Rahman would be “seen as a major sign of weakness throughout the Muslim extremist world.”
According to Fox News, State Department Spokesman Noel Clay has said that ‘there are no plans to release the Blind Sheik or transfer him to Egypt.’
Rahman was convicted for his role in supporting the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; plotting to attack the United Nations, the Holland and Lincoln tunnels; and plotting to assassinate then-Senator Alfonse D’Amato, and current Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi had urged the US to release Rahman on humanitarian grounds or at least ease prison restrictions.
According to the report, McCaul, a former federal prosecutor and counterterrorism expert, fired back and said releasing Rahman would “only serve to embolden our enemies who continue to plot against us.”
Rahman, considered one of the world’s leading theologians of terrorism, is currently serving a life sentence in a maximum-security federal prison in Butner, the report said. (ANI)