BEIRUT: A sheikh accused of involvement in the recent twin bombings in Tripoli claimed that he has been detained for political reasons in a letter addressed to the northern city residents published by a local newspaper Wednesday.
“I am writing this letter... to offer condolences to my people in Tripoli... and to clarify the injustice me and my family have been through,” Sheikh Ahmad Gharib wrote in the letter published in Al-Akhbar daily.
“I do not understand why there were media leaks over my interrogation. Every defendant is innocent until proven guilty,” he said in the letter. “Thus, my detention is a political arrest par excellence and may God help me.”
Gharib, informant Mustafa Houri, as well as two Syrians, were implicated in the August bombings in Tripoli outside two mosques that killed 47 people and wounded hundreds.
They were charged with tasking the Syrians to set up a “monitoring and planning cell to carry out terrorist acts in Lebanon” while the Syrians were charged with rigging two cars with explosives and placing them, through the help of other individuals, outside Al-Taqwa and Al-Salam Mosques in Tripoli.
In his letter, Gharib slammed all media leaks over his arrest and said they were “untrue” and said his confessions over the blasts were made under threats and duress.