cleric arrested over Tripoli bombings


tripoli explosion 11The Internal Security Forces arrested a cleric in connection with the car bomb that targeted Tripoli’s Al-Salam Mosque in the Al-Mina neighborhood. According to the National News Agency NNA, a surveillance camera spotted him in the area near the explosion that took place near al-Salam mosque.

Sheikh Ahmad al-Gharib was arrested on Saturday, the National News Agency reported, adding that his residence was raided by the ISF Information Branch.

It also said that rifles, machine guns , hand grenades and military maps for the city of Tripoli were confiscated from his residence.

The news came a day after at least 40 people were killed and 900 injured in twin explosions in the sunni-dominated northern city of Tripoli.

The explosions took place outside the Al-Taqwa Mosque in the city’s Al-Zahiriya area and the Al-Salam Mosque .

Gharib, according to the report, was tasked by head of the Islamic Unification Movement (IUM) Sheikh Hashem Minqara to coordinate with the Syrian regime the latest developments. Gharib has reportedly been recently visiting Syria frequently .

The movement which was established in Tripoli in 1982 denounced Gharib’s arrest, expressing fear that the accusations were fabricated against him.

The Movement which reportedly has been seeking ways to unite the Sunnis and Shi’ites has allegedly enjoyed since the mid-1980s close political ties with Iran and Hezbollah. Sheikh Shaaban one of the top leaders of IUM reportedly visits Tehran frequently and is considered doctrinally a follower of Ayatollah Khomeini