Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman dies at US prison aged 78

The sheikh pictured in 1989, aged 49 Getty

Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Muslim cleric known as “the blind sheikh” who was convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and of planning a broader “war of urban terrorism” in the United States, died on Saturday in a North Carolina prison, authorities said, Reuters.

Reuters Abdel-Rahman, 78, died of natural causes at 9:40 a.m. (1440 GMT) at a medical center at a federal prison compound in Butner, North Carolina, according to Greg Norton, a spokesman.

The cleric, who had diabetes and coronary artery disease, had been incarcerated at the complex for nearly 10 years, Norton said.

Earlier, the cleric’s son Ammar said his family had received a phone call in Eygpt from a U.S. representative saying his father had died, according Reuters.

The Egyptian-born Abdel-Rahman remained a spiritual leader for radical Muslims even after more than 20 years in prison, Reuters added.

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