NEW YORK – The man accused of masterminding the first World Trade Center bombing (search) and plotting to blow up New York City landmarks is deliberately trying to damage his own health so his followers will retaliate against the United States, according to a federal prosecutor.
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman (search), who is currently serving a life sentence, has reportedly stopped taking his insulin medicine and started eating M&Ms to make his diabetes worse. The blind cleric has apparently been upset about not getting the specific brand of tea he likes in prison.
The new information has come out in the trial of his former defense attorney, Lynne Stewart (search), who is currently charged with aiding terrorism by passing dangerous notes from her client to his followers. She and her two co-defendants have pleaded not guilty.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who was the prosecutor in Abdel-Rahman’s 1995 trial, testified he believed for some time that the sheik “was going to play with his medical condition” because he knew the U.S. government would be blamed if something happened to him.
Abdel-Rahman is a highly regarded spiritual leader among his militant followers, and there is still concern that should his health decline, those followers would retaliate against the United States.
In 1997, his supporters vowed to kill then-President Bill Clinton and the sheik’s trial judge if Abdel-Rahman became ill while in prison.
Click on the video box at the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Rebecca Gomez.