BEIRUT – One of the two suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian embassy in the Beirut neighborhood of Bir Hassan on Tuesday turned out to be a Lebanese citizen from the southern city of Sidon and is closely connected with Salafist cleric Ahmed al-Assir.
The suicide bomber was identified as Mouin Abou Dahr, dubbed Al-Muhajer Lellah, and he is a cousin of Fadi Abou Dahr’s who is an Assir supporter and was arrested during the June clashes between the firebrand cleric’s followers and the army, NOW reported on Friday.
Sidon has been witnessing high tension since Thursday night as Hezbollah’s Resistance Brigades were on alert after the Shiite party learned of the involvement of Abou Dahr in the attack against the Iranian embassy, the same sources added.
Al-Jadeed television mentioned that Abou Dahr is from the Lebanese city of Sidon and was residing in Kuwait before moving to Syria and finally returning to Lebanon to carry out the suicide operation.
Al-Jadeed also revealed that the alleged attacker’s father, Adnan Abu Dahr, willingly went to the defense ministry after recognizing his son’s picture.
“The father is being interrogated at the caretaker ministry of defense,” it added.
The same source also said that Mouin Abou Dahr used to live in Kuwait before moving to Syria.
“He then returned to Lebanon to carry out the operation,” it said.
Meanwhile, OTV claimed later in the day that both suicide bombers were Lebanese.
“The attackers fought in Syria against President Bashar Assad’s regime and participated in the fighting in Pakistan,” OTV said.
“Abou Dahr used to go to Bilal bin Rabah mosque in Sidon and has left the country after the Abra clashes.”
Mouin Abou Dahr had promised al-Assir on his page on the social networking website Facebook that he will take revenge.
“They let you down Sheikh, but we will retaliate,” he wrote.
And a day before the Bir Hassan bombings, Mouin Abou Dahr took to Facebook to say that heaven “has opened its doors to receive him.”
An al-Qaeda-linked group in Lebanon claimed responsibility for an attack Tuesday on the Iranian embassy in southern Beirut that killed 25 people, including an Iranian cultural attaché. The group said it will continue the attacks until the Iranian-backed Shi`ite group Hezbollah withdraws its fighters from the Syrian civil war.
“The [attack] was a suicide operation conducted by Lebanese Sunni heroes,” group spokesperson Sirajeddine Zureiqat wrote on Twitter.
Two explosions rocked southern Beirut Tuesday morning near the Iranian embassy, killing at least 25 people and injuring 147 others.
Lebanon’s top officials and leaders of the major opposing political parties have denounced the attack, while Iran has accused Israel of perpetrating the deadly blasts.
Family condemns bombing
Later on Friday evening, e the Abou Dahr family “strongly” condemned in a released statement the deadly explosions nearby Beirut.
“We are deeply saddened that one of our relatives is accused of being behind the Bir Hassan explosions,” the statement posted on several Sidon-based websites said.
“We condemn this awful crime and we do not have enough words to describe it.”
It continued: “Abou Dahr is a conservative family that was raised according to the teachings of Islam that prohibit hurting others, and call for mercy and love.”
“We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and we pray for the recovery of the wounded.”
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