BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Azzam Brigades vows to continue attacking Iran

This undated file picture shows who is believed to be the head of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades Majid al-Majid. (The Daily Star Photo)

BEIRUT: The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an Al-Qaeda offshoot, vowed this week to carry on its leader’s mission to attack Iran and Hezbollah, saying Majid al-Majid personally oversaw the November twin suicide bombings outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.

“The project of its leader, Majid al-Majid, will be maintained by attacking Iran and its party even after his death,” a statement tweeted by the group said, clearly referring to Hezbollah. It added that the group’s project would also seek to defend the Sunni community and target what it said were “the Jewish oppressors.”

“Majid passed away after he laid the foundations for an ambitious project and after years of raising up men capable of managing his project after his passing,” it added.

The Lebanese Army apprehended Majid last month, but he later died while at a military hospital in Beirut. His remains were repatriated to Saudi Arabia last week.

The party had already claimed responsibility for the Nov. 19 bombings at the Iranian Embassy, but Majid’s precise role was previously unknown. Two suicide bombers carried out an attack that killed 30 people, including an Iranian diplomat, and wounded scores more. The party took responsibility soon after, citing Iran’s support for Hezbollah and the Syrian regime as the motive.

Another suspect has been arrested over alleged involvement in the attack, a security source told The Daily star Tuesday. The source said that General Security arrested a Palestinian man, identified by the initials Y.M., after the investigation revealed he might have played a role in the attack on the embassy.

In the statement, the party said Majid “personally oversaw the two bombings against the Iranian Embassy in Beirut last November and he directly supervised preparations and the execution.”

Majid was already wanted by the U.S., Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states for allegedly carrying out terrorist attacks.

The group also claimed Majid, who reportedly suffered kidney problems, had been in a coma since entering Lebanon on Dec. 4 for treatment.

“The Iranian party was not able to reach him or sense his presence until he was arrested on Dec. 27 after reports of his disease,” it tweeted.

The group also accused Hezbollah of cutting off Majid’s life support while in the military hospital and claimed the Lebanese Army worked closely with the resistance group. The Justice Ministry and later a committee of physicians confirmed that Majid died of natural causes.

Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said earlier this week while in Beirut that Tehran would soon send a delegation to Lebanon to investigate Majid’s case.

Separately, Palestinian Islamist sources in Ain al-Hilweh told the Central News Agency that Tawfik al-Taha would not take over as the new head of the group.

Taha was reported as saying that he had pre-existing commitments to a local mosque and would not engage in more militant actions than he already had, such as firing rockets at the Israeli enemy.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 15, 2014, on page 3.

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Summary

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an Al-Qaeda offshoot, vowed this week to carry on its leader's mission to attack Iran and Hezbollah, saying Majid al-Majid personally oversaw the November twin suicide bombings outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.

The Lebanese Army apprehended Majid last month, but he later died while at a military hospital in Beirut.

The party had already claimed responsibility for the Nov. 19 bombings at the Iranian Embassy, but Majid's precise role was previously unknown.

Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said earlier this week while in Beirut that Tehran would soon send a delegation to Lebanon to investigate Majid's case.


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