BEIRUT: Majid al-Majid, the head of an Al-Qaeda offshoot which claimed responsibility for the double suicide bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, died Saturday in Lebanon's military hospital, a security source told The Daily Star.
Wanted by Riyadh, Washington and Beirut, the Lebanese Army arrested Majid on Dec. 26 in the Mount Lebanon area of Hazmieh. He had arrived to Lebanon to undergo kidney dialysis.
Majid was receiving treatment at the military hospital in Badaro when he passed away, the source said, adding that his health had been in sharp deterioration.
Military Prosecutor Judge tasked a coroner to carry out an autopsy on Majid’s body.
Lebanese authorities were waiting for the Saudi Embassy in Beirut to request the repatriation of Majid's body, the National News Agency said.
If Riyadh fails to make such a request, the militant would be buried in Lebanon, the NNA added.
A security source said Thursday that Majid’s arrest came as a result of intercepting information both inside and outside the country and that interrogation had been delayed due to Majid’s bad health.
The detainee was on Riyadh’s list of its 85 most-wanted for links to Al-Qaeda whilst officials and private experts in Washington said Majid raised funds in the Gulf for militants fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Majid was the head of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, an Al-Qaeda offshoot, which claimed responsibility for the Nov. 19 double suicide bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. The attack killed 30 people including an Iranian diplomat.
In its claim, the group warned of further attacks in Lebanon unless Hezbollah withdraws its fighters from Syria.
A security source told The Daily Star Thursday that the Army will take unprecedented, strict security measures, fearing reprisals by the Abdallah Azzam Brigades over the reported arrest of Majid.
Majid was charged in absentia in Lebanon over involvement in the Nahr al-Bared battle when the Army launched an offensive to root out Islamists in the north Lebanon Palestinian refugee camp in 2007. Over 100 soldiers and 220 militants were killed in the clashes.
The Abdallah Azzam Brigades have also been accused of carrying out bombings in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen and several Western countries, including the U.S., and have claimed responsibility for rockets launched from Lebanon into Israel.