Islamist Movement chief arrested over Tripoli bombings


Tripoli-Explosion 7Lebanon Judge Saqr Saqr ordered the detention of Sheikh Hashem Minkara, head of the Islamic Unification Movement (IUM) in his connection to the Tripoli bombings, MTV reported on Thursday.

This development comes Minqara was interrogated by the Intelligence Bureau over the twin Tripoli bombings, the MTV report added.

The ISF Intelligence Bureau summoned earlier Sheikh Minkara to hear his testimony in the arrest of Sheikh Ahmed al-Gharib with regards to the Tripoli bombings, LBCI reported .

Sheikh Gharib, one of two suspects that was interrogated in the Aug. 23 car bombs outside the Al-Taqwa and Al-Salam mosques in Tripoli revealed that the explosions were “directly planned by Syrian intelligence,” according to security sources .

Gharib, after several hours of interrogation, also said he had prior knowledge of the attacks and their planning, the added.

Gharib’s arrest Saturday was due to his appearance in a surveillance video taken near Al-Salam Mosque at the time of the blast. Police are reportedly also questioning Sheikh Abdel-Razzak Hammoud in the case.

Gharib, according to reports, was tasked by Sheikh Minqara to coordinate with the Syrian regime the latest developments. Gharib has reportedly been recently visiting Syria frequently .

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea linked ex-minister Michel Samaha to the attacks

“I think the investigations should take the ex-minister Michel Samaha case as a reference point.”

On August 9 of last year, Lebanese security forces arrested Samaha, who has close ties with Syria’s embattled regime, for smuggling weapons into Lebanon in a bid to foment terrorism.

The Islamic Unification Movement (IUM) 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