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Lebanon News

Arrest warrant issued for ISIS commander over Arsal

This undated picture shows Imad Jomaa.

BEIRUT: A Lebanese judge issued arrest warrants Thursday for two Syrian nationals, including the alleged ISIS commander whose apprehension by the Lebanese Army ignited bloody clashes in the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal earlier in August.

Military Investigative Judge Imad Zein issued arrest warrants for Imad Ahmad Jomaa, accused of being the ISIS commander in Syria’s Qalamoun region, and Ahmad Jomaa. According to a judicial source, there is no relation between the two men.

Both Jomaas were charged with belonging to a terror group and carrying out terrorist activities, as well as plotting the Aug. 2 attack on Arsal that resulted in the deaths of 19 soldiers and the kidnapping of 29 policemen and troops.

Zein also charged them with undermining the authority of the state and trying to establish an Islamic emirate in Arsal.

The judicial source refused to reveal the content of the confessions made by either suspect, citing the need to protect the secrecy of the investigation.

Zein will continue to interrogate the remaining 18 suspects – 14 Syrians and four Lebanese – held in connection with the Arsal clashes, the source added. He said the interrogations would be carried out in batches beginning next week.

In confessions leaked to the media earlier this week, Imad Jomaa admitted to plans of establishing an Islamic state between the Bekaa Valley and North Lebanon. He divulged that all Hezbollah loyalists would have been either detained or killed.

Jomaa admitted that militant groups would also have killed any individual who is over the age of 15 and declares his allegiance to the resistance movement.

Christians would have been spared according to Jomaa, who also disclosed that the original plan called for the capture of the largest possible number of soldiers.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 29, 2014, on page 3.

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Summary

A Lebanese judge issued arrest warrants Thursday for two Syrian nationals, including the alleged ISIS commander whose apprehension by the Lebanese Army ignited bloody clashes in the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal earlier in August.

Military Investigative Judge Imad Zein issued arrest warrants for Imad Ahmad Jomaa, accused of being the ISIS commander in Syria's Qalamoun region, and Ahmad Jomaa.

Zein will continue to interrogate the remaining 18 suspects – 14 Syrians and four Lebanese – held in connection with the Arsal clashes, the source added.


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