Committee Chairs Want Answers on Blind Sheikh Release

September 20, 2012 4:09 pm 9 comments

Omar Abdel Rahman. Photo: IPT.

Eight House committee leaders have written to Obama administration officials asking about reports the administration is considering an Egyptian request to release blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman from prison.

“If these reports are true, such considerations would be extremely disconcerting as release of this convicted terrorist should not happen for any reason,” the letter from U.S. Reps. Lamar Smith, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., Peter King, R-N.Y., Hal Rogers, R-Ky. , Frank Wolf, R-Va., and Kay Granger, R-Tex., said. Each chairs a significant House committee.

The query was prompted by a story published Monday by The Blaze and discussed by talk show host Glenn Beck. A Blaze staffer said an unnamed Obama administration told him Abdel-Rahman’s release was being “actively considered.”

Abdel-Rahman is serving a life sentence for plotting a series of bombing attacks on New York tunnels and landmarks. And he is considered the spiritual influence behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people. His imprisonment has become an obsession for some in Egypt, with new President Mohamed Morsi promising to lobby Washington for Abdel Rahman’s release when he meets U.S. officials.

It was Abdel Rahman’s imprisonment, and not alleged offense to an anti-Muslim video, that triggered violent protests outside the American embassy in Cairo last week, U.S. intelligence officials say.

A Department of Homeland Security report cited postings on an Arabic web forum “inciting Egyptians to target the U.S. Embassy, indicating the U.S. Embassy shouldn’t remain in Egypt” unless Abdel Rahman is freed, FOX News reported.

“Succumbing to the demands of a country whose citizens threaten our embassy and the Americans serving in it would send a clear message that acts of violence will be responded to with appeasement rather than strength,” said the letter, which was sent to Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “The blind sheikh should remain in federal prison.”

Spokesmen for the Justice Department and National Security Council say that is what is going to happen.

“The blind sheik is going to serve out his life sentence,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said on Wednesday. “There are no discussions about transferring him. These reports are wrong.”

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd dismissed the Blaze report as “utter garbage. The Blind Sheikh is not being transferred to Egypt nor is he being released. He is serving life sentence in federal prison. Suggestions that there is discussions to transfer or release him are absolute garbage and completely false.”

But the New York Post reports that King, chairman of the House Homeland Security committee, “confirmed the request is being considered.”

Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted Abdel Rahman, told the Blaze he was skeptical about the denials.

“I think the plan has been to agree to the Blind Sheikh’s release, but not to announce it or have it become public until after the election,” McCarthy said. “That is consistent with Obama’s pattern of trying to mollify Islamists. Obviously, they did not want this information to surface yet… but sometimes a situation can spin out of control.”

Read the full House letter here.

9 Comments

  • FranksterManolito

    There was a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Omar Abdel Rahman on September 26th, 2011. He will be placed in Egyptian custudy due to misconduct by previous admninistrations. He will remain under house arrest in Egypt for the remainder of his life, with constant threat of detention if he does anything against Egyptian laws. War on terror is a wrap. Time to move on.

  • This is a non-story. Glenn Beck is not a credible source. Both the Department of Justice and the White House have stated unequivocally that the sheikh will not be released. But this canard is like birtherism, a matter of faith oblivious of the need for any evidence.

  • I bet he’s released already. Who is it that’s blind?
    Idiots.

  • Jonathan Pollard – not a terrorist, not a murderer, no release in sight – yet the murderous “blind sheikh” is to be released? What is wrong with this picture? EVERYTHING! The words “American justice” have become an oxymoron

  • If the Obama administration releases the Blind Sheik…it will as if it is urinating on the graves of every American – civilian and soldier – murdered by Muslims beginning with Bobby Kennedy and continuing through the Marines in Lebanon…the first World Trade CENTER..the second World CENTER..Khobar Towers..Ft Hood…etc..etc…

  • His release was one of Bin Ladens demands.

  • Alexander Kaganovsky

    This criminal deserves Commitee of electric chairs

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    JNS.org – Less than five months after leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to its sixth European basketball title, David Blatt, now the head coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, routed his former team in an exhibition game on Sunday, with the Cavaliers dominating Maccabi 107-80 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The 20,562 fans in attendance witnessed Lebron James’s first appearance in a Cavaliers uniform since he left the club in free agency for the Miami Heat four years ago. [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.