By Andrew McCarthy
An ugly and confusing terrorist attack at an Algerian gas facility is getting even more troubling as the Islamic radicals now demand the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and another prominent terrorist in exchange for the remaining American hostages.
Abdel Rahman is the blind sheikh now serving a life sentence for masterminding the 1993 attack against the World Trade Center. Terrorists are also demanding the release of Aafia Saddiqui, who is imprisoned on her conviction for attempted murder.
And the captors in Algeria are not the only ones who want to see Abdel Rahman released. The new leaders in Egypt are also urging the U.S. to free him. But why is Abdel Rahman so revered?
“He is the most iconic symbol to Islamic supremacists the world over of not only their struggle against the West but their deep-seeded conviction that they will win that battle,” said Andrew C. McCarthy, the lead federal prosecutor in the case that put Rahman and 11 others behind bars.
“He is thought of internationally as somebody who is virtually without equal in facing down the United States in particular. That’s not just because of the 1993 Trade Center bombing and the plots that occurred right after that to try to take out New York City landmarks but the fact that Osama bin Laden, someone else that was thought very highly of as an iconic figure in the international jihad, attributed to Abdel Rahman the credit for issuing the fatwa that approved the 9/11 attacks. So he’s a singular figure in this global movement and that’s why really since we imprisoned him in the summer of 1993 they’ve been agitating for his release.”
Despite the adoration that Islamic radicals have for Abdel Rahman, the assumption of most is that the Obama administration will obviously reject the demands. McCarthy told WND he isn’t so sure. He said the odd response from the administration following Egyptian efforts to free Abdel Rahman leads him to believe there is some chance this could happen down the road.
Read more at WND with audio
- #myjihad Jailing of Muslim Mastermind behind the World Trade Center bombing “angers the Muslim world” (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- EGYPT MAKES PLEA: Obama Urged to Deny Release of ‘Blind Sheikh’ (foxnews.com)