An Islamist website used by terrorist groups including al-Qaeda is urging Muslims to seek the release of a cleric jailed in the U.S. through "any form of attempt or pressure." The al-Hesbah Network also warned that the U.S. would be held responsible for any harm that came to Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind cleric imprisoned in 1995 for conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks.
U.S. law enforcement officials have said Abdel-Rahman was taken to hospital earlier this month, prompting a warning by the FBI that his death could lead to attacks. The website quoted what it described as the will of Abdel-Rahman as saying: "If they (U.S.) and they certainly will kill me ... forget not my blood and do not let it be wasted. Seek revenge for me in the strongest and most violent fashion."
U.S. officials have said the medical condition of the 68-year-old Abdel-Rahman has subsequently improved, that he had been released from the hospital, that he now is in stable condition and back in a federal prison medical facility. Abdel-Rahman began to spit up blood on December 6 and was taken from the prison to the emergency room at a hospital in Springfield, Missouri, where doctors discovered a tumor on his liver. He has long suffered from a number of medical problems, including diabetes and heart ailments.