The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, an al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, claimed credit for today’s bombing in the Lebanese capital of Beirut that killed four people. The attack is the latest by al Qaeda-affiliated groups that have targeted Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“We were able to respond to the massacres committed by Iran’s party [Hezbollah] against the children of Syria and of Arsal [in northeast Lebanon] with a suicide operation that targeted the heart of its southern suburbs,” the Al Nusrah Front said, according to the Daily Star.
Today’s attack took place “just meters from the site of an explosion earlier in the month in the suburb that was claimed by the Al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS),” the Daily Star reported.
Today’s bombing is the fourth major suicide attack and car bombing in Lebanon carried out by al Qaeda-affiliated groups against Iran and Hezbollah since mid-November 2013. The al Qaeda groups have advocated attacking Iranian and Hezbollah interests in Lebanon due to the their involvement in the Syrian civil war.
On Nov. 19, 2013, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades took responsibility for the suicide attack outside of the Iranian embassy in Beirut that killed 23 people, including Iran’s cultural attache. Just over a month later, Majid bin Muhammad al Majid, a Saudi jihadist who led the group, was captured and then died in custody shortly afterward. The Abdullah Azzam Brigades was established by one of Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s lieutenants.
And on Jan. 14, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham claimed credit for the Jan. 2 car bombing in Beirut that killed four people and wounded more than 70. The attack, which may have been executed by a suicide bomber, took place outside of Hezbollah’s political office in the neighborhood of Haret Hreik.