A group of Congressional leaders released a copy of a letter sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder expressing "concern" about the possible release of Omar Abdel Rahman following a report by TheBlaze that the U.S. State Department has held internal discussions about whether to consider a request from Egypt to transfer custody of the so-called Blind Sheikh, the radical Islamist cleric convicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing,
"We are concerned about recent reports that the Obama administration is considering the release of Oma Abdel-Rahman ... to the custody of Egypt for humanitarian and health reasons," the letter begins. "If these reports are true, such considering would be extremely disconcerting as release of this convicted terrorist should not happen for any reason."
To see the full, two-page letter, signed by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith and seven other committee chairs click here.
Last night, TheBlaze spoke with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) specifically about the reported request made by the Egyptian government. When asked how the U.S. should respond to a request to release or transfer custody of the blind sheik, Gohmert responded:
"We’re not entertaining anything from you until you get your country under control and stop this inflaming of the attacks against America."
That should have been the response… But we have a very weak president that thinks if he can just give away enough money and just give enough apologies that they’ll end up loving us… and these people not only do not love you for making apologies for things you shouldn’t, they develop contempt… just like a bully on the schoolyard does if he beats you up and you apologize to him and give your lunch money. He doesn’t love you.
There’s only one thing they understand and that’s strength coming back at ‘em.
We also pressed Rep. Gohmert on the question, Have any negotiations taken place between State and Egypt since the original request was made? His response:
I have not, personally... I hope and pray that if this administration has been entertaining those that they will realize that we didn’t gain peace by letting murdering thugs go… It does not work when you let people who murder Americans go… trying to buy peace. What you buy is more hell and less peace.
The release from the House GOP appears below.
Washington, D.C. – A group of House Republican Chairmen today expressed concern about reports that the Obama administration is considering the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as the “blind sheikh,” to the custody of Egypt for humanitarian and health reasons. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Chairmen made clear that Abdel-Rahman, who inspired the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, should not be released to Egypt for any reason but should remain in federal prison.
The report about the possible removal of Abdel-Rahman comes a week after the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya during which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Anti-American protests have spread throughout the Middle East, including Egypt where protestors stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The violence in Egypt has been attributed, in part, to that government’s demands for the blind sheikh’s release.
“Succumbing to the demands of a country whose citizens threaten our embassy and the Americans serving in it would send a clear message that acts of violence will be responded to with appeasement rather than strength,” the Chairmen wrote. “The release of Abdel-Rahman or any terrorist who plots to kill innocent Americans would be seen for what it is – a sign of weakness and a lack of resolve by the United States and its President.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith was joined in sending the letter by the Committee Chairmen who oversee foreign affairs and national security issues, including:
- House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen;
- House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers;
- House Committee on Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon;
- House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Peter King;
- House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers;
- House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Chairman Frank Wolf; and
- House Appropriations Subcommittee on State of Foreign Operations Chairwoman Kay Granger.