Rampant poverty in Tripoli's Mankoubeen. (The Daily Star/Antoine Amrieh)
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The impoverished Tripoli area of Mankoubeen was still recovering from shock Thursday, after the Nusra Front announced that the suicide attack over the weekend had been authored by two of its residents.Residents of Mankoubeen still question why Taha Khayal, 21, and Bilal Mohammad al-Maryan, 28, decided to blow themselves up in the Nusra orchestrated attack Saturday outside a popular cafe in the Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen, which killed nine. Jabal Mohsen lies a mere 100 meters from the mostly-Sunni Mankoubeen. In the wake of the attack, a security plan was launched in the neighborhood and its residents are being monitored. Security reports suggest that, despite the Saturday bombing, few of Mankoubeen's youth are joining foreign extremist groups; rather young men are affiliating themselves with the Mohajeroon organization believed to have been established by Walid Boustani, an extremist who fled to Syria after serving his sentence in Roumieh Prison.Saturday's explosion was the first serious breach of a security plan implemented in April 2014 which ended years of clashes in Tripoli between residents of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh.Sources in Mankoubeen say there are 15-25 Nusra Front members in Syria who hail from the community.
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