Lebanese army confirms involvement of Sunni scholar in terrorist attacks
- uploaded: Feb 2, 2014
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Most of these bombings are linked to this man. Omar al-Atrash, a cleric registered with Lebanon's Sunni body Dar al-Fatwa and the imam of a central Beqaa mosque, confessed to preparing explosive devices, suicide belts, car bombs and rockets carried out in the recent bomb attacks. Atrash, along with 12 Lebanese and Syrian suspects belonging to al-Qaida, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades and al-Nusra group, were charged for committing terrorist attacks that killed tens of innocent people in Lebanon. When Atrash was detained early last week, the Coaltion of Muslim Scholars held a demonstration in front of the Ministry of Defense, protesting the arrest saying it is targeting Sunni Sheikhs and everyone who is against the Syrian government. Today, they distance themselves from what they call anyone who commits unlawful acts. The medical examiner who has seen Atrach, confirmed that the cleric was not subjected to pressure or torture when he made these confessions. Meanwhile, experts believe that detaining the suspect will reveal more clues about those involved in the terrorist acts, and won't necessarily mean the chain of bombings will stop. Al-Qaeda linked groups including al-Nusra Front, Abdullah Azzam Brigades and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have jointly announced that the southern suburb of Beirut that is predominantly supportive of Hezbollah is their target. According to the Lebanese Army Intelligence, further investigations with Atrash to uncover all other operations that the group he belongs to had carried out are ongoing. With terrorism prevailing in the region, the identity of the killer is quite vital. But while investigation continues, residents here in southern Beirut, who are living in fear have one concern: to defeat terrorism and stop the killing.
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