Thousands of mourners gathered Wednesday in Egypt for the funeral of the man convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that left six people dead, Reuters reports. Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as the "blind sheikh," died Saturday in a US prison at the age of 78. According to the AP, Rahman's body was flown back to Egypt, arriving Wednesday. One of Rahman's sons says his father wanted to be buried in his hometown of Al-Gamaliya. The Muslim cleric's body was taken to his brother's house to be washed before burial.
Rahman, blind since childhood, led an Egyptian extremist group until fleeing to the US in 1990. He was convicted in the World Trade Center bombing—as well as plotting a wider "war of urban terrorism"—in 1995. His death was met with statements of mourning from al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, his hometown was filled with chants of "we will defend you with blood and soul, Islam" for his funeral. "If he were a bad man, people from all over the country wouldn't have came to attend his funeral," said a lawyer who traveled more than 100 miles to be there.