'Blind Sheik' linked to 1993 World Trade Center bombing dies in US federal prison

Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman died in federal prison early Saturday morning.

— -- Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind Egyptian cleric serving a life sentence in the United States for conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks, died early Saturday morning, federal officials said.

His next of kin has been notified of his death, the statement said.

Rahman, a veteran of Egypt's Islamist movement, entered the United States in 1990. He had been jailed in Egypt for allegedly helping to inspire the assassination of President Anwar Sadat.

Using evidence collected by an Egyptian informant, the U.S. government prosecuted Rahman for conspiracy in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center attack. After the bombing, the U.S. government recorded the sheikh encouraging further violence against targets in New York and New Jersey. Rahman and nine of his followers were arrested in June 1993.

Rahman was kept in federal prisons since 1993, most recently at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina.

According to an FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News at the time, Rahman began to spit up blood on Dec. 6 and was rushed from prison to St. John's Regional Hospital to receive emergency treatment.

ABC News' Rym Momtaz and Benjamin Stein contributed to this report. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

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