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Egyptian Salafist Extremists Demanding Release of Blind Sheik

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There is ongoing speculation as to the causes of the anti-American riots, familiar to all of us, just winding down in Cairo, Egypt, and Benghazi, Libya. Most agree that it was the film clip insulting the Prophet Mohammed that provoked the turbulence. Other factors, such as the killing of civilians in Afghanistan, some by drone, the threats from Israel to bomb Iran, and similar matters have also been mentioned,

A new speculation is now receiving some support. Eric Trager, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, indicates his belief that the rioting was planned before the publication of the inflammatory video; he says the protest was planned by Salafists, a violent sect within the Muslim faith. The Egyptian Salafist Noor party holds about 25 percent of the seats in parliament. The Salafists called on people to go to the embassy. They called for affiliated “Ultras” [ultra conservative and ultra violent] to join the protest. The Salafists announced on August 30 that a violent demonstration  to protest the continuing imprisonment of spiritual leader, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as “The Blind Sheik” would take place at the Cairo embassy. Rahman is serving a life sentence for the 1993 bombing involving explosives in a car parked in an underground garage at the World Trade Center. Six people were killed, a thousand or more injured.

 Another terrorist prisoner, Omar Abdel Rahman Brigades, who attacked the International Red Cross office in Benghazi in August, and in June, 2012 detonated an explosion outside the Benghazi consulate office where Ambassador Stevens was murdered on September 11th, is also associated with the cause of Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. It is well known that Brigades seeks the release of his namesake. At the June explosion, leaflets threatened more attacks on Americans.

If, as expert Eric Trager proposes, the demand for the release of the Blind Sheik is an issue, it is not a new one. On December 20, 2006, I wrote that the health of Omar Abdel Rahman was deteriorating. He had tumors on his liver and was thought to be dying. There were fears at that time that if the Sheik died in prison, an attack on the U.S. may be anticipated. Rahman called for retaliation by sympathizers if he died in prison. The Sheik’s last will and testament demands that on his death in prison, terrorists “extract the most violent revenge.” At that time in 2006. Rahman was being held in The Springfield Federal Medical Center; the final stop for America’s worst-of-the-worst convicts. Others who have spent time there include Robert Stroud, “The Birdman of Alcatraz”, and New York gangster and Racketeer John Gotti.

These statements are from the will of Omar Abdel-Rahman:

If they kill me, and they certainly will kill me … forget not my blood and do not let it be wasted. Seek revenge for me in the strongest and most violent fashion. We promise God to follow the path of the Sheikh’s teachings and we urge our mujahedeen brothers in all parts not to forget the case of Sheikh Omar, We urge all Muslims and everyone with mercy for the weak … to do something for the blind and tortured sheikh, through words, stances or any form of attempt or pressure.


Photos: The Examiner, NBC News

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!