Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

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. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    JNS.org – Alan Gross used to be nothing more to me than a tragic headline. When I started my position at this news service in July 2011, Gross had been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 for what that country called “crimes against the state.” Gross, a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, went to Cuba to help the Jewish community there access the Internet. After his arrest, he received a trial he describes as a “B movie,” […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    JNS.org – When I saw the recent Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short,” I was struck by the sheer genius of the financiers who devised the schemes and packaged the loans for resale, but it left me with unanswered questions about how the properties these loans represented were moved. “The Big Short” was largely about paper transactions, big money, and wealthy investors, and it mildly touched on the way the actual end-users — the home buyers and brokers — played into this […]

    Read more →