BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army arrested a leading commander in the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades, according to a report published Friday.
The local newspaper As-Safir, quoting a senior security source, said the suspect – a 47-year-old Syrian national – was apprehended by Lebanese Army Intelligence in the Beirut neighborhood of Al-Tariq al-Jadideh.
The brief report did not say when the Syrian man, who was only identified by his initials M.R., was arrested.
As-Safir said the suspect was detained after finding evidence that he was funding terrorist groups linked to the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
It said an investigation also found the suspect to have close ties with a radical sheikh whose name was mentioned in confessions made by detainee Naim Abbas, in which he said that the Syrian Azzam Brigades commander had supplied him with rockets that targeted Beirut’s southern suburbs last year.
As-Safir said that security forces and Lebanese troops had been exercising maximum vigilance for the past few months across Lebanon, including the southern suburbs of Beirut, tied in with the violence in Iraq and chances that sleeper cells could carry out terrorist attacks.