GOP chairmen implore White House not to release blind sheikh

“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 acts of appeasement rather than strength,” wrote Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Pete King (R-N.Y.), Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), Frank WolfFrank Rudolph WolfVulnerable Republican keeps focus as Democrats highlight Trump Bolton could be the first national security chief to prioritize religious freedom House votes to mandate sexual harassment training for members and staff MORE (R-Va.) and Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerThe Year Ahead: Tough tests loom for Trump trade agenda Dem lawmaker pledges hearings after CIA briefing on Khashoggi GOP struggles to find right Republican for Rules MORE (R-Texas).

ADVERTISEMENT

“The release of Abdel-Rahman or any terrorist who plots to kill innocent Americans would be seen for it is — a sign of weakness and lack of resolve by the United States and its president.”

Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council, rebutted any rumors or news reports that the United States is considering the release of Rahman in exchange for heightened security measures.

“There are no plans to release the blind sheikh or transfer him to Egypt,” said Veitor. “Reports to the contrary are absolutely baseless.”

Last week, riots erupted at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt and the U.S. Consulate in Libya. No one was killed in Egypt, but four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, were murdered in Libya.