Obama Silent on Calls to Release Blind Sheikh

Katie Pavlich

1/10/2013 10:30:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Muslim Brotherhood leader and Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi is scheduled to meet with President Obama sometime later this Spring. What's on his White House visit request list? Morsi wants Obama to free Omar Abdul Rahman, better known as the Blind Sheikh and the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center attack.

The announcement follows his pledge, during his presidential campaign earlier this year, to free Omar Abdul Rahman. The preacher is currently serving a life sentence and the planned request for his release appears to be gesture, by Mursi, to Gama’a al-Islamiya, a Salafi group.

Sheikh Rahman is the spiritual leader of Gama’a al-Islamiya, which was involved in the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat but renounced violence in 1997. The group has entered mainstream politics since former President Hosni Mubarak was toppled.

Mursi told CNN in an interview aired Monday that he was hoping to travel to the United States before the end of March 2013, and he planned to raise the case of Sheikh Rahman with U.S. President Barack Obama.

"There is no set date yet, but it will most likely be before the end of the first quarter of this year," Mursi said.

It will be the Islamist leader's first visit to the United States since he was elected last year after the overthrow of long-time Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

While Homeland Security has requested Rahman stay in prison and while the State Department has said there are no plans to release him, President Obama has been silent on the issue. As Michelle Malkin pointed out last night on Hannity, Obama should immediately make a very public statement rejecting Morsi's request.
 

Although Egypt is considered a so-called ally of the United States, it is alarming President Obama is willing to meet with Morsi at all considering his background, goals and feelings toward Israel. Morsi is an Islamist radical who clearly has no problem with a man who planned a terrorist attack on the United States in the same place that would later be completely destroyed by al Qaeda terrorists on 9/11/2001. Morsi's request should be swiftly and very publicly rejected.