Egypt's 'Blind Sheikh' dies in prison in the US

Egypt's 'Blind Sheikh' dies in prison in the US

Egypt's 'Blind Sheikh' dies in prison in the US

Abdel-Rahman died from natural causes in the federal correctional complex in Butner, North Carolina, said Greg Norton, the prison's spokesman.

He had battled diabetes and coronary heart disease, Norton said.

He was not convicted for the bombing, but was believed to be linked to the six men who were convicted, and is said to have helped orchestrate the attack, which killed six people and left more than 1,000 injured. His following was tied to fundamentalist killings and bomb attacks around the world.

One of Abdel-Rahman's co-conspirators, Nosair was not only sentenced for his role in the bomb plot but for assassinating militant Rabbi Meir Kahane in a NY hotel in 1990.

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In August 1993, he was indicted for involvement in a broader terrorist plot that included the World Trade Center bombing.

Though he denied involvement, he was convicted in 1995 for involvement in a broader conspiracy that would have additionally struck the Holland Tunnel, George Washington Bridge and United Nations headquarters - eight years before 9/11.

Abdel-Rahman would then travel to the United States in 1990 where he preached in Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey mosques, according to federal prosecutors.

For decades he had been a figurehead for Egypt's Salafi-jihadi movement, including the militant group al-Gamaa al-Islamiya.

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Abdel-Rahman continued his embrace of radical Islam and terrorism while in the U.S.

The indictment said Abdel-Rahman and his followers planned to "levy a war of urban terrorism against the United States" as part of a jihad - or holy war - to stop US support for Israel and change its overall Middle East policy.

In the mid-1980s, Abdel-Rahman made his way to Afghanistan, where he built a strong rapport with former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The cleric was arrested and tortured in Egyptian prisons, before eventually fleeing the country and entering the USA on a tourist visa.

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