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In a dimly lit office in the heart of Tripoli's troubled Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood, a man in his 40s with slicked back hair and intense eyes sat behind a sturdy wood desk and watched a television set playing an American action movie with Arabic subtitles. The door's office slid open and another younger man walked in. On Sept. 9, Fawwaz Bazzi was shot near Bab al-Tabbaneh and later died from his wounds.Tripoli residents and officials have followed the bread crumbs of these crimes back to the emergence of an armed group led by two young militia leaders: Chadi Mawlawi and Osama Mansour.The armed gang created by Mawlawi and Mansour, while widely labeled by locals as "Daesh" or ISIS, the pair are said to have pledged allegiance to the Al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front.When Lebanese security forces launched massive crackdowns on street leaders in Bab al-Tabbaneh this past April, locals claimed that Mawlawi and Mansour fled to Syria – likely via the Akkar border.A militant in a rival militia who claimed to support the Lebanese Army and oppose the infiltration of radical Islamist factions said that Bab al-Tabbaneh currently hosts between 50-70 members of this armed group with another 40 in the neighboring Mankoubeen area.
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