Al-Nusra leader appoints Salafi sheikh to head Lebanon branch

Al-Nusra leader appoints Salafi sheikh to head Lebanon branch
Fri Feb 21, 2014 16:23:01

Lebanese radical Salafi sheikh, Ahmad al-Assir, has been appointed as head of the terrorist al-Nusra Front group in Lebanon, media reports say.

Kuwaiti al-Rai newspaper wrote in a Friday report that, Abu Mohammad al-Julani, head of Syria’s al-Nusra Front has appointed Assir as head of Lebanon’s al-Nusra branch.

The report cited sources as saying that Assir and a group of his followers have left their hometown, Sidon, for Syria and are now fighting against the Syrian army in the Qalamoun area, located near Lebanese borders.

Al-Nusra Front is al-Qaeda’s main representative on the ground in Syria war and is one of the main allies of the Western backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) which is fighting to topple the Syrian government.

The report also says Assir followers were involved in recent wave of deadly bombings in south of Beirut.

The group has been active in Palestinian refugee camps, as well as capital Beirut and other areas in north of the country to absorb more followers, it says.

It also says some of the arrested members of the AL-Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades terrorist group have talked about a new front being formed by al-Assir in Syria’s al-Qalamoun.

Azzam Brigades was responsible for a deadly bombing near Iranian embassy in Beirut in November 2013.

Some analysts believe Azzam Brigades militants are entering with more powerful stance as compared to other militant groups in Syria, since they stayed away from the recent deadly infighting between Syria militants, especially between al-Nusra Front and former al-Qaeda representative, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

Sheikh Assir is a staunch supporter of Takfiri militants fighting in Syria. Takfiris dismiss most of Islamic sects as infidels.

Assir was not so known up until two years ago when he gained prominence as the spillover into Lebanon from the conflict in neighboring Syria escalated.

The Lebanon’s army has pledged to fight against Assir's terrorist group until it ‘finishes with’ the radical sheikh.


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