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FBI Confirms Sheik Assault Probe

August 20, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ The FBI is investigating allegations that a prison guard cursed and assaulted Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the imprisoned Egyptian cleric whose followers blew up the World Trade Center, officials said Friday.

The blind sheik was allegedly knocked off the toilet by a prison lieutenant who entered his cell early on Aug. 8 at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., bumping his head and bruising his arm.

The FBI was investigating the assault, said spokesman Paul McCabe in Minneapolis.

The 61-year-old cleric is in declining health with diabetes and heart disease, said his attorney, Ramsey Clark.

Abdel-Rahman was sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted in 1995 for conspiracy for allegedly plotting to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and approving bombings of the United Nations, FBI headquarters in Manhattan and two tunnels and a bridge connecting New Jersey to Manhattan.

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