Posted by Joshua on Thursday, October 4th, 2007
Al-Akhbar, an independent pro-opposition newspaper, wrote on October 3: “The ongoing investigations into members of the Fatah Al-Islam group arrested by the directorate of intelligence of the Lebanese army revealed that this group is part of the global Al-Qa’idah organization and is not merely a group of amateurs that the government security team insists is subordinated to the Syrian intelligence services. According to knowledgeable sources, the detainee Abu Salim Taha, the most prominent leader in Fatah Al-Islam detained by the Lebanese army, gave a number of confessions: One, the groups which constitute Fatah Al-Islam are mostly made of Islamic elements that are strongly linked to Al-Qa’idah and that leaders in it have communicated throughout the past period with leaders of Al-Qa’idah in Iraq and sent several messages professing loyalty to the Amir of Al-Qa’idah in Iraq Abu Ayyoub Al-Masry who succeeded Abu Mus’ab Al-Zarqawi…
“Two, the person called Abu Youssef Al-Jazrawi, a Saudi citizen, is the backbone on whom the group depended to get money and logistical support, as he is directly connected to Al-Qa’idah abroad. This person escaped from the Al-Barid camp with Shehab Al-Qaddour known as Abu Hureireh. He was also a strong link to the fighters moving between Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. It was not ascertained whether one of the prominent leaders in Fatah Al-Islam is a member of Osama Bin Laden’s family. Three, Shaker Al-Absi’s brother in law who was killed by Syrian border guards was carrying a document professing loyalty to Al-Masry plus other documents proving the link between Fatah Al-Islam and Al-Qa’idah. Four, it was confirmed that there were communications between Fatah Al-Islam and Syrian intelligence officers who facilitated movement between the countries as well as communications with Lebanese factions in other camps and cities.
“Taha also pointed out that after the opposition forces started their protest in downtown Beirut, Abu Hureireh suggested the principle of “defending the Sunnis” and meetings were arranged between him and clerics and local activists including cadres in the Future movement. As for the terrorist operations for which the group was responsible, Taha’s confessions included the following: one, Fatah Al-Islam was responsible for the bombing of the buses in Ain-Alaq on 13/2/2007 which caused the death of three citizens and wounded 20 more. He justified this attack as coming in the context of a plan aimed at shaking the situation in Lebanon and that they chose to target a Christian area to cause anarchy there and to spark strife while also creating an opportunity for accusing the members of the Syrian Socialist National party of being responsible.
“Two, Taha also admitted that Fatah Al-Islam is responsible for the explosions in Ashrafiyeh on 20/5/2007, Verdun on the next day, and Allay on 23/5/2007 and that the perpetrators of the attack are still free and that these attacks came as a response to the Nahr Al-Barid battle. Three, the investigations have not defined yet the relationship between Fatah Al-Islam and the attacks on the UNIFIL forces in southern Lebanon. It turned out that those who carried out the second attack in Al-Qasimiyeh on the 14th of last June were not direct members of the organization but members of cells linked to it. These cells were caught by the information branch in the Al-Kharroub area on the 16th of last September and are also responsible for launching Katyusha rockets on Palestine earlier.
“The investigations into an explosion that took place in the Ain Al-Hilweh camp in a shop belonging to Shehadeh Al-Jawhar, a leader in another fanatic Islamic group called Jund Al-Sham, showed that the explosives are the same as the ones used in the fatal attack on the Spanish unit of the UNIFIL and come from land mines. On another front, Taha denied the reports that Fatah Al-Islam were responsible for the assassination of MP Pierre Gemayel in the knowledge that the investigations have not reached a decisive result. Al Akhbar learned that the head of the international investigative committee the Belgian judge Serge Brammertz informed Amine Gemayel that the investigations undertaken by the committee have not achieved any break though into any of the crimes…” – Al Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon Click here for source