BEIRUT: General Security announced Monday it arrested three suspects for their alleged involvement in a car-bombing ring and investigators issued photos for two additional Lebanese suspects.
The security agency said it confiscated an Audi vehicle that contained 250 kilograms of explosives in Naameh, 15 kilometers south of Beirut, on Saturday and arrested a Lebanese and two Palestinian brothers on suspicion of “creating a terrorist network, breaching security on Lebanese soil and preparing to carry out a bombing using the confiscated car.”
General Security said it was in pursuit of two Lebanese identified as Mohammad Qassem al-Ahmad, 30, a resident of Haret al-Naameh and Saeed Mohammad Bahri, 28, a resident of Dohat Aramoun.
The agency circulated photos of the two, asking people to contact them if they have information about the suspects.
The detained suspects were identified by their initials as Lebanese T.B.T and Palestinians A.H.S and K.H.S.
The announcement revised initial reports from security sources that four suspects were arrested. The Daily Star reported Sunday that authorities arrested four people including the bombing ringleader, Ahmad al-Said, a Salafist in his 50s.
A security source told The Daily Star authorities found five containers in the car each with 50 kilograms of TNT and a remote detonator. The Audi was reportedly parked near Naameh’s municipality and a residential building complex.
Investigators are looking into whether the suspects are linked to last week’s bombing in Beirut’s southern suburb of Ruwaiss, a pro-Hezbollah area, which killed 30 people and wounded over 300.
Lebanese authorities as well as Hezbollah have beefed up security in Beirut particularly in its southern suburbs. The resistance group has set up checkpoints that search passing vehicles.
The Ruwaiss blast came more than a month after a similar car bombing in the Bir al-Abed neighborhood of the southern suburbs. That bombing wounded over 50 people and caused extensive damage to buildings.
The bombings and repeated shelling of Hermel areas and Baalbek, east of Lebanon, is apparently linked to the Syrian conflict and Hezbollah's involvement alongside regime forces.