BEIRUT: Investigative Military Judge Fadi Sawan Tuesday questioned a man once thought to be the next leader of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades inside the military hospital in Beirut and issued an arrest warrant against him.
Judge Sawan questioned Jamal Daftardar in the military hospital where the charged detainee is receiving treatment and issued an arrest warrant against him on the charges of belonging to terrorist networks, including Al-Qaeda and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
The charges also included transporting explosives-rigged vehicles from Syria to Lebanon and detonating them in residential areas in Beirut and the capital’s southern suburbs, as well as killing civilians and launching rockets into Israel.
A judicial source told The Daily Star that Daftardar, also known as Mohammad Ahmad al-Masri, confessed to belonging to the Abdullah Azzam Brigades. He also confessed that the former leader of the group, the late Majid al-Majid, had appointed him as an official of Islamic law in Lebanon.
Daftardar confessed that Majid appointed Naim Abbas, the alleged mastermind behind two bombings, as the military official for the group in Lebanon.
After questioning Daftardar, the judge referred the file, which contains 23 suspects from different nationalities, to Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr. The file includes Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi suspects, some of whom remain at large.
Daftardar was arrested during a raid on a residence in the Western Bekaa town of Kamed al-Loz in mid-January. He was regarded as the main candidate to take over the Abdullah Azzam Brigades leadership following the death of Majid.
Abbas has been in custody since February 12. He has already been charged in connection with the two Haret Hreik car bombings on Jan. 2 and Jan. 21, as well as with the murder and attempted murder of citizens.
The brigades claimed responsibility for several attacks in Lebanon including the Nov. 19 twin suicide attacks targeting the Iranian Embassy in Beirut that left 30 people dead, including an Iranian diplomat.