Egyptian Islamists call for release of blind sheik

AP News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2011 12:50 PM
Egyptian Islamists call for release of blind sheik

Hundreds of Islamists have staged a protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to demand the release of an Egyptian cleric imprisoned in the United States for plots to blow up New York City landmarks.

Omar Abdel Rahman, also known as the blind sheik, is serving life in prison after a 1995 conviction for his advisory role in conspiracies to blow up the United Nations and several New York bridges and tunnels.

On Thursday, protesters near the heavily fortified embassy held banners reading "freedom for our sheik" and chanted slogans and held prayers.

The protest leader was Abboud el-Zomor, who was released from an Egyptian prison in March after serving multiple sentences for his role in the assassination of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.