BEIRUT: Arrest warrants were served Friday to two Meqdad clan members and another man accused of the kidnapping of several Syrian nationals and a Turkish citizen.
Military Investigative Judge Imad Zein issued the arrest warrants for Maher Meqdad, the clan spokesperson, as well as Hasan Meqdad and Taher Sultan. The men are already in custody and were promptly served with the warrants.
Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr charged the three men Thursday with “forming an armed group to [undermine] the prestige of the state, kidnapping citizens and threatening to kill them, as well as possession of unlicensed weapons and explosives.”
Maher Meqdad was arrested last week by Lebanese Army Intelligence during a raid on his house in the Beirut southern suburb of Haret Hreik.
The Meqdads snatched more than two dozen Syrian nationals in addition to a Turkish businessman following the Aug. 13 kidnapping of kinsman Hassan Meqdad in Damascus.
They released most of the hostages soon after, but the Turkish national and four Syrians were held longer – the latter accused of being members of the rebel Free Syrian Army.
Under pressure from the Lebanese Army, the armed clan released Turkish businessman Aydin Tufan Tekin on Sept. 11, nearly a month after it kidnapped him.
Two days later, Turkish citizen Abdulbasit Arslan was handed over to General Security by Al-Mukhtar Al-Thaqafi, the armed group that held him hostage for almost a month.
The remaining four Syrian hostages were freed by the Lebanese Army raid last week.