BEIRUT: Military Investigative Judge Imad Zein Wednesday issued a new arrest warrant for Naim Abbas, the alleged mastermind behind two bombings, on charges of belonging to an armed group, plotting terror attacks in Lebanon, and forging identification papers, judicial sources told The Daily star.
Abbas has been in custody since February 12. He will be questioned over the new charges next week, the sources said, adding that his interrogation was postponed to allow him to appoint a lawyer.
Abbas 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.
Abbas has been accused along with 20 others of belonging to two Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups, the Lebanese branch of the Nusra Front and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades. Both have claimed responsibility for several car bombings in areas associated with Hezbollah, claiming they were in retaliation for Hezbollah’s decision to fight alongside Syrian goverment forces.
The network allegedly includes Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian nationals, but so far only four, including Abbas, who is Palestinian, have been detained.
The new charges were reportedly issued based on Abbas’ links to Jamal Daftardar, a commander in the Al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades who was arrested on January 15.
His case is also connected to that of detained preacher Sheikh Omar Atrash, who was also charged with having a role in the Beirut attacks.