IRAQ

Al-Qaeda Calls For Attacks On America Over ‘Blind Sheik’ Death

"Don't let the Americans live in peace and security. Kill them, ambush them, implant fear in their hearts," the terror group wrote

IRAQ
Omar Abdel-Rahman. — REUTERS
Feb 21, 2017 at 4:54 PM ET

Al-Qaeda is calling on its supporters to attack the United States and kill Americans in retaliation for the death of Omar Abdel-Rahman, who died on Saturday at the age of 78 in a North Carolina prison while serving a life sentence. “The Blind Sheik” was a notorious terrorist whose followers in 1993 committed the World Trade Center bombing.

“Don’t let the Americans live in peace and security. Kill them, ambush them, implant fear in their hearts, take revenge for your Sheik, destroy their interests everywhere, and burn the land under their feet,” the terror organization said in a statement posted to its Telegram channel on Tuesday. Abdel-Rahman died after suffering from diabetes and coronary artery disease, and al-Qaeda also claimed in the statement that “the Americans decided to kill [Abdel-Rahman] at the prison by withholding medicine from him.”

More Al-Qaeda Mourns ‘Blind Sheik’ Convicted For 1993 World Trade Attack

Abdel-Rahman was a lifelong jihadist and an influence on some of the world’s most well-known terrorists, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden. Blind since he was an infant, Abdel-Rahman gained notoriety as the leader of the Egyptian militant group Gamaa Islamiya before coming to the U.S.

According to the Associated Press, Abdel-Rahman eventually found himself teaching at a mosque in New Jersey, where he schooled his followers in extremist ideology. Those involved in the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York were connected to Abdel-Rahman, and later that year, the Blind Sheik himself was arrested over plots to bomb the George Washington Bridge and other New York City landmarks. Eventually, he was convicted of conspiracy for the World Trade Center attack and other charges against him.