The imprisoned al Qaeda spiritual leader known as the "Blind Sheikh" suffered a "medical emergency" at the Springfield federal prison last week, and the FBI is warning his death could lead al Qaeda to launch terror attacks against the United States in reprisal.
According to an FBI bulletin, obtained by ABCNews.com, the 68-year-old Omar Abdel-Rahman began to spit up blood on Dec. 6, and was rushed from prison to the emergency room of St. John's Regional Hospital in Springfield, Mo.
"He accepted a needed transfusion to replace lost blood. While he was under examination, medical authorities also discovered a tumor on his liver," the FBI situational awareness bulletin noted.
THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS
Omar Abdel-Rahman, convicted in 1996 of conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks, has long suffered from diabetes and heart ailments and has spent much of his imprisonment at the Springfield Medical Center for federal prisoners.
The FBI bulletin reminded authorities that the sheikh had previously called for reprisal attacks in the case of his death in prison.
The bulletin cited what it said was his last will and testament distributed at an al Qaeda press conference in 1998.
"My Brothers...If they [the Americans] kill me, which they will certainly do â€“ hold my funeral and send my corpse to my family, but do not let my blood be shed in vain. Rather, extract the most violent revenge, and remember your brother who spoke the truth and died for the will of God...The Mujahid Sheikh Omar Abdel al Rahman. In the name of God the kind and merciful."
The FBI bulletin also notes, "During Ramadan of this past year, al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI) released a videotape encouraging all Muslims in Iraq to exert efforts in capturing Western personnel so that they may be exchanged for the release of the Blind Sheik, suggesting that the Blind Sheikh remains a significant source of inspiration for AQ and their sympathizers."
Following emergency treatment at St. John's, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman is now back at the federal medical facility where he has been housed.