Supporters carry the coffin at the funeral of Omar Abdel Rahman, the spiritual leader of the Egyptian extremist Gamaa Islamiya group, at al-Gamaliya town in Dakahlia Governorate. Abdel Rahman, who was considered the mastermind behind bomb plots in New York and sentenced to life in 1996. He died on February 18 in a US prison.
Supporters carry the coffin at the funeral of Omar Abdel Rahman, the spiritual leader of the Egyptian extremist Gamaa Islamiya group, at al-Gamaliya town in Dakahlia Governorate. Abdel Rahman, who was considered the mastermind behind bomb plots in New York and sentenced to life in 1996. He died on February 18 in a US prison. KHALED ELFIQI

Villain to some a hero to others

THOUSANDS have turned out for the funeral of "the blind sheikh”, the Muslim cleric convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York.

Also convicted of planning a broader "war of urban terrorism” in the US, Omar Abdel-Rahman, 78, died on Saturday in a North Carolina prison.

Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood were among a wide range of Islamist movements to issue statements of mourning.

Hundreds of mourners carrying signs with messages such as "we will meet in heaven” and chanting "we will defend you with blood and soul, Islam,” gathered at al-Gamaliya, his hometown in Egypt's Nile Delta, to wait for his body as it returned from the US via Cairo.

By the time of his funeral, the crowd had grown to thousands.

Abdel-Rahman lost his eyesight to childhood diabetes and grew up studying a Braille version of the Koran.

He remained a spiritual leader for radical Muslims even after more than 20 years in prison.

He also was accused of issuing a fatwa leading to the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat.



Jack's emotional speech at Vietnam Vets Day

Jack's emotional speech at Vietnam Vets Day

Coral Balmoral battle veteran to share personal story

Phoenix rises from ashes for new CQ school subjects

premium_icon Phoenix rises from ashes for new CQ school subjects

New school building to be completed in next few weeks

Significant response to survey about bigger Browne Park

premium_icon Significant response to survey about bigger Browne Park

'In time it may attract Reds and Roar games too'

Local Partners