Lebanese army arrests key al-Nusra Front commander

Lebanese army arrests key al-Nusra Front commander
Thu Feb 27, 2014 09:36:41

The Lebanese Army scored another high-profile arrest with the capture of a suspected leader of the Nusra Front, as authorities charged the alleged mastermind of two bombings in the southern suburbs with new crimes.

Nidal Sweidan, a Syrian national who is suspected of being a leader in the Al-Qaeda-linked group, was captured during an Army raid at the home of an Arsal resident, security sources said.

The capture of Sweidan, who sources say is suspected of carrying out terrorist attacks in east Lebanon, is the latest in a string of arrests of several commanders affiliated with militant groups operating in Syria including the Abdullah Azzam Brigades and the Lebanon branch of the Nusra Front.

The Lebanese offshoot of the Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for three deadly attacks in the country this year including last week’s suicide car bombing at an Army post in the northeastern town of Hermel.

Saturday’s bombing killed three people including two soldiers.

News of the arrest emerged as the state-run National News Agency said that Army Intelligence had detained a man in east Lebanon suspected of funding a detained terror suspect, Palestinian Naim Abbas, who is the alleged mastermind behind two bombings in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

Naim has been accused along with 20 others of belonging to two Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups, the Nusra Front in Lebanon and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.

The alleged financier’s arrest is the latest step in a widening judicial battle against Naim and his network.

The terrorist group of Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for suicide bombings near the Iranian Embassy and Cultural Center in Bir Hasan.


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