This past weekend, Omar Abdel Rahman — the “Blind Sheikh” — died in a U.S. federal prison. He was convicted 20 years ago for his role in authorizing the planned “Day of Terror” terror campaign targeting New York City landmarks following up on the 1993 World Trade Center bombing launched by his followers:
Omar Abdel-Rahman, the "Blind Sheik" convicted of plotting 1990s terror attacks against the US, has died in prison. https://t.co/t5S3xyZKMx
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 18, 2017
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) February 23, 2017
Our PJ Media colleague, former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy, was the man who put the Blind Sheikh in prison. McCarthy’s memoir of the terror leader’s trial, Willful Blindness, remains one of the must-reads for understanding the nature of the domestic terror threat:
— Andy McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) February 18, 2017
As reported here by Bridget Johnson, al-Qaeda quickly came out and called for attacks on the U.S. in response to the Blind Sheikh’s death:
New AQ central statement on Omar Abd al-Rahman accuses U.S. of "killing him in prison by withholding medicine," calls for revenge attacks pic.twitter.com/LK39zs4g5A
— Cole Bunzel (@colebunzel) February 21, 2017
But the tributes to the dead terror leader didn’t only come from al-Qaeda.
The Muslim Brotherhood — which is currently engaged in a widespread campaign to prevent it from being designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. — marked the occasion, too.
Movements across the Islamist spectrum from the Muslim Brotherhood to al-Qaeda issued statements mourning him, and several leaders from Egypt’s Islamic Group, which views the sheikh as a spiritual leader and renounced violence in 1997, attended.
In fact, the official Muslim Brotherhood statement called the Blind Sheikh a “martyr”:
Muslim Brotherhood mourns convicted terrorist Omar Abdel Rahman, asks god to place him among prophets and saints: https://t.co/TCbiQfNqXM
— Eric Trager (@EricTrager18) February 18, 2017
MB statement mourning the death of the "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman, convicted of plotting terror attacks (Ar) https://t.co/h2RDWU8UGU
— Basil El-Dabh | باسل الضبع (@basildabh) February 18, 2017
— Eric Trager (@EricTrager18) February 19, 2017
The Blind Sheik was also publicly mourned by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, like Gamal Heshmat.
If Heshmat sounds familiar, he was part of the Muslim Brotherhood delegation received by President Obama’s State Department in January 2015:
MB leader Heshmat, who visited State Dept in 2015, mourns terrorist: "God bless Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman who lived & died free!" pic.twitter.com/c9X4bQw9r2
— Eric Trager (@EricTrager18) February 23, 2017
— Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) January 28, 2015
Media outlets aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood have followed suit, calling for “revenge” against the United States for the Blind Sheikh’s “martyrdom”:
Pro-Brotherhood channel says Omar Abdel Rahman was "martyred" in a US jail. https://t.co/7EODiR5o50
— The Big Pharaoh (@TheBigPharaoh) February 18, 2017
Another pro-Muslim Brotherhood FB page, another condolence for convicted terrorist Abdel Rahman. ("Take revenge on those who wronged him.") pic.twitter.com/TuGLs8QuQT
— Eric Trager (@EricTrager18) February 24, 2017
It should be noted that the release of the Blind Sheikh was a priority for al-Qaeda — bin Laden had demanded his release a year prior to the 9/11 attacks.
In this demand, bin Laden was joined by — you guessed it — the Muslim Brotherhood.
One of the first acts of Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood official who won the June 2012 Egyptian presidential election, was to publicly call for the U.S. to release the Blind Sheikh and vow to work for his release.
Egypt leader Mohammed Morsi vows to free Omar Abdel-Rahman, infamous blind sheik jailed in U.S. http://t.co/ZiaUunTj
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) June 30, 2012
What is a group that takes to the pages of the New York Times to announce that they have renounced terrorism doing mourning a chief terrorist leader the same day? A man who, like Osama bin Laden, had authorized terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland?
That group is assuming Americans still trust the New York Times, that’s what.