The body of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted of the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in 1993 arrived in Cairo on Wednesday (February 22).
The Egyptian Sheikh had been serving a life sentence at a U.S. prison where he died this week.
His followers gathered at the Cairo airport to receive his body. Among them was Ahmed Eskandarany, the spokesman for the Gama’a Islamiya’s political party.
Eskandarany said solitary confinement had taken a toll on Abdel-Rahman’s health.
Abdel-Rahman’s two sons also awaited his arrival at the airport. Ammar Abdel-Rahman said he had no doubt that his father had died a natural death.
The body will be transported to Abdel-Rahman’s final resting place in his hometown of Mansoura.
Known as “the blind sheikh”, Abdel-Rahman was convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 bombing and of planning more attacks as part of a “war of urban terrorism” in the United States.
With his long grey beard, sunglasses and red and white clerical cap, the charismatic Abdel-Rahman was the face of radical Islam in the 1980s and 1990s.
Abdel-Rahman’s convictions also included plotting to kill Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during a visit to the United States in 1993, a Jewish New York state legislator and a Jewish New York State Supreme Court justice.