Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, convicted for masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and foiled terror plots in New York City, died Saturday in a South Carolina federal prison hospital, officials said.
The blind Egyptian cleric, commonly known as the "Blind Sheikh," was serving a life sentence for his role in the World Trade Center bombing that left six dead and some 1,000 injured and other plots to blow up the Holland and Lincoln tunnels in New York. He was the spiritual leader of Al-Gama Al-Islamiyya, a group considered a terrorist organization by the United States and believed to be behind several terror-related attacks.
Rahman, 78, had been in federal prison since 1995. He had lost his eyesight at 10-months-old. He studied Islamic theology at Cairo University and, later, earned a doctorate. He rose to prominance as an outspoken Muslim cleric.