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‘Blind Sheikh’ behind 1993 WTC bombing dies

Washington, Feb 19: Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian-born radical cleric serving a life sentence for plotting the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Centre and other terror attacks in New York, has died, officials said.

Rahman, 78, died in a US prison on Saturday. He died from tural causes in the federal correctiol complex in Butner, North Caroli, Greg Norton, the prison’s spokesman, was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

He had battled diabetes and corory heart disease for years, Norton was quoted by local media reports. He was regarded as one of the most influential and fearsome theologians of the Islamist fundamentalism that swept the Middle East in recent decades.

Known as “the Blind Sheikh,” Rahman lost his eyesight when he was 10 months old. By the time he was 11 years old, he had memorised the Braille version of the Qur’an and was sent to an Islamic boarding school.

He went on to study at Cairo University’s School of Theology and later earned a doctorate in from Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Rahman went on to become one of the country’s most prominent and outspoken Muslim clerics to denounce Egypt’s secularism. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita