Lebanon News

Judge issues arrest warrant for Omar Bakri

File - Islamist preacher Omar Bakri attends an interview with Reuters at his home in Tripoli, northern Lebanon May 24, 2013.(REUTERS/Stringer)

BEIRUT: Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayda Monday issued an arrest warrant against detained militant Sheikh Omar Bakri Fustoq on charges of terrorism and preparing to establish an "Islamic emirate" in north Lebanon.

Abu Ghayda interrogated Fustoq for three and a half hours in the presence of his lawyer, Mohammad Hafezah, before issuing the warrant.

The judge charged the Syria-born preacher with belonging to an armed group, giving lessons encouraging terror acts, preparing to create an Islamic emirate in north Lebanon, and inciting against the Lebanese Army, the state and its civilian and military institutions.

If convicted, Fustoq could face the death penalty.

Abu Ghayda also interrogated the landlord who rented Fustoq the apartment in Aley where the militant sheikh was hiding at the time of his arrest on May 25.

The judge issued an arrest warrant against the landlord for helping Fustoq evade justice.

The Tripoli-based preacher, who in 2005 was barred from returning to Britain, where he had lived for more than a decade, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, urging the radical Syrian rebel group to “reactivate its cells” in Lebanon.





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