Results tagged “Lebanon”
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Sirajeddine Zureiqat, said to be the new emir of the al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades, urged followers to attack the "puppetmaster" Hezbollah, not the Lebanese Army. Syrian terrorist suspects Ahmad Atef Jenayat and Saleh Mohammad Halloum were referred to the judiciary; Jenayat is linked to a June suicide bombing plot involving slain facilitator Monzer al Hassan.
The US condemned the Hezbollah bomb attack on Oct. 7 that wounded two Israeli soldiers in the Shebaa Farms area near an Israeli outpost. Lebanon accused Israel of shelling with cluster bombs in response to the attack. Hezbollah clashed with the Al Nusrah Front in the Qalamoun area near the Syrian border, reportedly capturing the Umm Khorj post from which Al Nusrah attacked a Hezbollah post in Brital on Oct. 5.
Clashes erupted at Hezbollah bases from Baalbek to Arsal between Syria-based Al Nusrah Front fighters and Hezbollah forces seeking to repel them; at least 16 Al Nusrah fighters, including commander Mohammed Khalid Hamza Suhaib, and two Hezbollah fighters were said to have been killed. Other reports said the infiltrators were from the Islamic State. The Lebanese army also clashed with militants near Arsal.
The Army repelled an attempt by gunmen in Wadi Hmeid and al-Masyadeh to infiltrate near Arsal. Jihadists in the area are said to be seeking access to Arsal for food and fuel. Lebanese forces discovered a 50-kilogram bomb set to detonate near a military checkpoint outside Arsal and disabled it. A few days earlier, over 60 kilograms of explosives were discovered in Arsal. A Lebanese stoneworker kidnapped by the Islamic State was released; he said he was held in a farmhouse outside Arsal with at least eight kidnapped Lebanese soldiers as well as 50 or 60 other people. Saudi Arabia is reportedly stalling on a $3 billion arms deal for fear the weapons will fall into the hands of Hezbollah.
The Al Nusrah Front denied reports that it had promised not to execute captive Lebanese troops, and said it has withdrawn from negotiations for their release and will execute captives for any measures taken against Sunnis. The head of the Lebanese Army said the military is pursuing a terrorist cell in Tripoli and expects more clashes with extremist fighters in Arsal. Islamic State-linked groups in Tripoli are reportedly planning attacks aimed at seizing areas of northern Lebanon. The military prosecutor filed terror charges against 11 militants, including Tripoli-based Shadi al Mawlawi and Osama Mansour, who have been linked to the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State.
Wanted Islamists Shadi al Mawlawi and Osama Abu Mansourd are thought to be forming a group in Tripoli with links to the Islamic State or the Al Nusrah Front. A Tripoli politician reported suspicious activity threatening his home after being criticized in social media by extremist groups. Former premier Saad Hariri said the Syrian National Coalition's report to the UN alleging abuses of Syrian refugees by the Lebanese Army should not have omitted to mention the recent kidnapping of some 35 Lebanese troops in the area. Another Lebanese politician claimed that the Free Syrian Army's intervention recently saved some of the kidnapped troops from being executed.
Abou Malek al Talleh, the Al Nusrah Front's emir for Qalamoun, warned that "jihadists are in their thousands across Lebanon, awaiting the permission to start the battle" and that Al Nusrah has "managed to break all the security barriers in all Lebanese regions," and he promised a quick solution to inmates of Roumieh Prison. A Lebanese media report said that Al Nusrah and the Islamic State are willing to swap over 20 kidnapped Lebanese troops for captured Islamist fighters. Al Nusrah sent voice recordings of kidnapped soldiers to their families. Turkey has refused to help negotiate the release of the kidnapped soldiers. Tensions are high in Arsal, where the Army has reportedly arrested 450 suspected Islamist fighters, families of kidnapped troops are protesting for their release, and the Muslim Scholars Committee has alleged rights violations by government forces. A news reporter was kidnapped in the Bekaa Valley.