Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Syria Caught Red Handed - Updated!

"The leader of Fatah Islam Shaker al-Absi, second right, speaks during a press conference, late Tuesday March 13, 2007, in the Palestinian refugee camps of Nahr al-Bared and Biddawi in Tripoli north of Lebanon.

Lebanese Interior Minister Hassan Sabaa said Tuesday that four Syrian members of a little-known radical Palestinian group have confessed to carrying out the near simultaneous bombings on commuter buses that killed and wounded several people last month near Beirut.

Meanwhile, a Fatah Islam spokesman who identified himself as Abu Salim said 'It is impossible for us to carry out such an act. These are part of unfair accusations against Fatah Islam.' 'If these accusations continue we will respond and our response will not be simple.'"

(AP Photo)

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Lebanese and international news services have reported the breaking up of a Syria-based terrorist network responsible for the twin-bus bombings that struck the country exactly one month ago. According to the Naharnet website, 8 members of the Syrian cell were arrested while two remain on the run and "are believed to be hiding at north Lebanon's Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp".

The website also reports,
Two of the held operatives are Palestinian refugees from the camp of Yarmouk near the Syrian capital of Damascus. The bust, according to one source, also included confiscating a large quantity of explosives that were hidden in the Beirut apartment of Syrian suspect identified as Mustapha Siyor.

Members of the network, according to the source, infiltrated into Lebanon from Syria last November under the cover of the so-called "Fatah-Islam" group, which was set up by Syrian intelligence with the objective of carrying out terrorist attacks to destabilize Lebanon and block the ratification of the international tribunal which would try suspects in the 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri and related crimes.

Siyor's cell had been operating under cover from an apartment in Beirut's Christian neighborhood of Karm el-Zaytoun, which is part of the capital's Ashrafiyeh district, the source said.

Reports from Lebanon also indicate that the group had been planning a large attack on UNIFIL forces stationed in southern Lebanon as part of the UNSC Resolution 1701 and comes exactly tow days after a man was arrested enroute to planting a bomb in Saida following his exit from the Ain El Helweh refugee camp.

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Update:

The Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. (LBC), has reported that six of those being held in connection with the Ain Aalaq bombings are holders of Syrian-Palestinian residency papers and passports. It has also confirmed reports that the group had been planning attacks against UNIFIL forces stationed in the south of the country.

According to fellow blogger, Abu Kais,

A Fatah Islam official denied responsibility for the attacks in a telephone interview with LBC, and threatened "retaliation" if these accusations are leveled at his organisation. When asked about what form this retalition would take, he hung up.

The LBC website also reported that a spokesman for the PLO in Lebanon, stated that the Fatah-Islam group was not operating under the mandate of a Palestinian organisation but was a group "whose origins were known", in reference to the group's Damascus-based training, and command-structure.

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Update:

Minister of the Interior, Hasan Sabaa, officially announced this evenning that four members of the Fatah-Islam group linked to Syrian Intelligence services, have confessed to the Ain Aalaq twin bus bombings that took place exactly one month ago today. Sabaa's announcement came directly after a meeting of the cabinet (headed by PM Seniora).

A statement issued by Fatah Islam directly after Sabaa's announcement denied any involvement in the attack.

10 comments:

  1. Arabic Coffee Pot8:08 PM

    Seniora is rumoured to have revealed plans for attacks on UNIFIL troops by the Syrian-based terror cell dismantled today by the security services Lebanon. This ahead of Solana's trip to Damascus for discussion.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do not know why they keep talking about that "Fatah-Islam" group; it is a small group in the camps...

    Those guys are Syrian Mokhabarat, plain and simple. Why do we need other labels?

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're right, we don't.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous7:02 PM

    Disgusting! Syria is a terrorist state!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent,

    Good job by the gvmnt.

    Now they should use the denials to go into the camps and arrest/destroy these groups while discrediting any Lebanese supporters.

    And FORGET any friggin AMNESTIES now and forever. Anything less than that will bring us back to square one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. joseywales, problem is that the civil war was over and no one was arrested as a war criminal. The only person who got arrested because he was not part of the Syrian game.

    What an Amnesty we had in 1990, and we are paying the price for it,

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't think theres any talk whatsoever of giving amnesty to anyone in the camps implicated in these attacks.

    Ahmad Jibril still has an arrest warrant out for his arrest (I think he was even sentenced to death in absentia) for the murders he and the rest of his Syrian-backed henchmen committed during the war.

    Josey I think is referring to an outrageous request made by some wanted palestinian gunmen who took over a school in Naameh last month.

    ReplyDelete
  8. In either case, the army has surrounded the camp where these Syrian intelligence agents are hiding out. With a report on the progress of 1559 coming up, look for (i.e. hope for) rapid action on the part of the government to dismantle this Syrian terrorist cell.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We agree guys,

    But I am talking about EVERYTHING.

    No accountablity from the war.

    Amnesties for the war period, and then post-war the Dennieh murderers.

    The army has surrounded these types of assholes a million times and done nothing.

    Ahamd Jibril? They had a chance way before the July war and blew it, and I believe Jibril still has "offices" in may Lebanese cities (I could be wrong here)

    And when arrests were made, amesties or deal have followed.

    Watch the Islamic Fatah bullshit now.

    Hope I am wrong.

    ReplyDelete

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