CLICK to download THE TIMELINE. The recent call for Egyptian president elect Mohammed Morsi to release blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the radical spiritual leader of al Qaeda in whose name the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1993 “Day of Terror” plot to blow up the bridge & tunnels into Manhattan, the 1998 African Embassy bombing and the October 12, 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole were committed, underscores George Santayana dictum that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I am thus adding a link to the 32 page illustrated TIMELINE in my most recent HarperCollins book TRIPLE CROSS: How bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI. You will see the key role that Sheikh Omar, “the prince of jihad” played in instigated or inspiring these multiple acts of terror. The TIMELINE begins with the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat watershed moment in the recent history of radical Islam and a plot in which the blind Sheikh was initially implicated.
Emerging as a kind of “media star” after that assassination was Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri the Egyptian surgeon who would go on to co-found al Qaeda with Osama bin Laden and who remains the radical network’s leader to this day.
It was not by accident that a plot to free the blind Sheikh showed up in the infamous Presidential Daily Briefing to President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas in August, 2001 The PDB cited a 1998 warning by a REDACTED intelligence service of a plot by bin Laden to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of ‘Blind Shaykh” Umar Abd al-Rahman and other U.S. held extremists.”
Another example of the importance of Sheikh Omar to al Qaeda and it’s surrogates was the offer by the Taliban, just days before the second al Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers, to exchange the imprisoned blind Sheikh for the Christian aid workers being held prisoner in Kabul.