Lebanon News

Assir bodyguard arrested while trying to flee Lebanon

File - Sheikh Ahmad Assir, center, and his bodyguard Ali Abdel Wahad speak to reporters in Sidon, Sunday, March 3, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: A bodyguard of fugitive Salafist Sheikh Ahmad Assir was arrested Thursday by authorities at Beirut airport, security sources said. Thirty-year-old Ali Abdel-Wahed, a Palestinian who worked as Assir’s personal bodyguard, was arrested by General Security at Rafik Hariri International Airport at 4 a.m., the sources said, adding that the wanted man had tried to avoid detection by shaving his beard and cutting his hair.

Abdel-Wahed had booked a flight with Egypt Air to Nigeria, with a transit stop in Cairo.

Earlier this month, Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr ordered the arrest of dozens of people over the late June clashes between militant supporters of the Sidon preacher and the Lebanese Army.

Some 37 people including Assir, were charged with murder, arms possession and other crimes.

Some of the indicted remain at large, including the Salafist preacher.

An arrest warrant was filed against Abdel-Wahed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 26, 2013, on page 3.




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