Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Hezbollah’

Saudis Challenge Hezbollah Lebanon Dominance; Offers Army $3B.


Saudi Arabia will channel $3 billion to the Lebanese army over five years in an effort that analysts interpret as a direct challenge to Hezbollah‘s dominance over Lebanon, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The aid comes in the wake of the Dec. 27 car bomb assassination of Mohamad Chatah, a leading Lebanese Sunni politician and critic of Hezbollah.
The money, which challenges what the BBC termed Hezbollah’s “unchecked power,” has the potential of altering Lebanon’s political structure and could exacerbate sectarian tensions.
Gulf sources told the Journal that the Saudis do not want a direct confrontation with Hezbollah only to “rebalance” its influence in Lebanon.
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, a Christian, said Lebanon would use the Saudi money to purchase weapons from France, the BBC reported.
The Journal described the money as intended to strengthen the government’s forces against Hezbollah which is backed by non-Arab Iran. Sleiman described it as intended to enable the Lebanese army to “confront terrorism.”
The Saudi money far exceeds Lebanon’s entire $1.7 billion annual defense budget, according to the Journal.
Demographics play a key role in Lebanon.
Of the 4 million Lebanese, Christians comprise about 41 percent the population; Shiites, 36 percent, and Sunnis about 20 percent. There are also other sects including 250,000 Druze.
Saudi Arabia, which is Sunni, supports the Sunni insurgency against the Assad regime in neighboring Syria, while Shiite Hezbollah has committed fighters to Assad.
Many Lebanese army officers are Shiite and some Sunnis distrust the force as being partial to Hezbollah, the Journal reported.
Meanwhile, the Saudis have been critical of what they see as the lack of American assertiveness in the region particularly regarding Syria and Iran’s nuclear program.
They have responded by more closely aligning with France and generously backing regional allies including the military regime in Egypt.
An earlier U.S. offer to provide $8.7 million to Lebanon’s army was ridiculed as too little by Sleiman, the Journal reported.
There are signs that al-Qaida is gaining a foothold among the Sunni population in Lebanon particularly in Tripoli and Sidon.

The Saudis, while adhering to a strict form of Islam, are longtime antagonists of al-Qaida.

Related Stories:

© 2013 NewsmaxWorld. All rights reserved.
By Elliot Jager

Massive Blast Kills Anti-Assad Former Lebanese Ambassador to US.


Image: Massive Blast Kills Anti-Assad Former Lebanese Ambassador to US

BEIRUT — Former Lebanese minister Mohamad Chatah, who opposed Syrian President Bashar Assad and was a former ambassador to the United States, was killed in a massive bomb blast, which one of his political allies blamed on Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah militia.

Friday’s attack also killed five other people and threw Lebanon, which has been drawn into neighboring Syria’s conflict, into further turmoil after a series of sectarian bombings aimed at Shiites and Sunnis over the past year.

Former prime minister Saad al-Hariri accused Hezbollah of involvement in the killing of Chatah, his 62-year-old political adviser, saying it was “a new message of terrorism.”

“As far as we are concerned the suspects . . . are those who are fleeing international justice and refusing to represent themselves before the international tribunal,” Hariri said.

Chatah’s killing occurred three weeks before the long-delayed opening of a trial of five Hezbollah suspects indicted for the 2005 bombing which killed former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, Saad’s father, and 21 other people.

The trial is due to open in The Hague in January. The suspects are all fugitives and Hezbollah, which denies any role in the Hariri assassination, has refused to cooperate with the court, which it says is politically motivated. Preliminary U.N. investigations implicated Syrian officials.

Chatah, a Sunni Muslim, was a vocal critic of Hezbollah.

A message on his Twitter account less than an hour before the blast accused the group of trying to take control of the country.

“Hezbollah is pressing hard to be granted similar powers in security and foreign policy matters that Syria exercised in Lebanon for 15 years,” the tweet read.

The conflict in Syria has polarized Lebanon and increased sectarian tensions. Hezbollah has sent fighters to Syria to fight alongside Assad, who is from the Alawite sect, a heterodox offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Some of the Sunni Syrian rebel groups are linked to al-Qaida, which is also seeking to topple Assad.

Former minister Marwan Hamadeh, who survived a car bomb in 2004, told Al Arabiya television: “Hezbollah will not be able to rule Lebanon, no matter how much destruction it causes or blood it spills.”

CONDEMNATION

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati and officials from across Lebanon’s sectarian political divide condemned Chatah’s killing.

Mikati said the blast targeted “a moderate academic and noble political figure who believed in dialogue, the language of reason and the right to different views.”

Hezbollah parliamentarian Ali Ammar described the explosion as a crime.

“We condemn this terrorist act,” he told Hezbollah’s Al Manar television. “It is part of a terrorist wave which the region and Lebanon are witnessing”.

While Chatah had no political power base of his own, his international experience, diplomatic contacts and academic analysis made him a key member of Hariri’s circle of advisers.

An economist and a diplomat, he worked for the International Monetary Fund in Washington and served as Lebanon’s ambassador to the United States. He was also minister of finance from July 2008 to November 2009, after which he worked as a foreign policy adviser to the younger Hariri.

Sources at the explosion site said Chatah was on his way to attend a meeting at Hariri’s headquarters when the explosion tore through his car. Hariri himself has stayed away from Lebanon for more than two years, fearing for his safety.

A Reuters witness said Chatah’s car was “totally destroyed, it is a wreck.” Chatah’s identity card, torn and charred, was found at the scene.

Iran, which backs Hezbollah, came under attack in Beirut last month. On Nov. 19, two suicide bombings rocked the embassy compound, killing at least 25 people including an Iranian cultural attaché.

The sound of Friday’s blast was heard across the city at around 9:40 a.m. and black smoke was seen rising in the chic downtown business and hotel district. It shattered glass in nearby apartment blocks and damaged cars, restaurants, coffee shops and offices.

“I heard a huge explosion and saw a ball of fire and palls of black smoke. We ran out of our offices to the streets,” said Hassan Akkawi, who works in a finance company nearby.

“The explosion caught motorists driving in the morning rush hour here. There was terror and panic among residents. There was a big ball of fire and panic everywhere and then we learned that Chatah was the target,” said Adel-Raouf Kneio.

Much of Beirut went into lockdown following the explosion, with police blocking off roads across the city.

After a series of explosions in the capital and in the northern city of Tripoli, the Lebanese army had stepped up security measures ahead of Christmas and New Year, fearing further attacks.

FEAR AND PANIC

The explosion shocked residents and emptied the streets in downtown Beirut, where people seeking a respite from recent turmoil had ventured out to enjoy the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

“I was on my way to open the store and then the explosion happened. For a while I was thinking, ‘Am I still alive?’ I didn’t know what happened. I was just seeing the people running and holding their ears and eyes, and running,” said Maya, manager of the Taten dress shop.

The owner of a restaurant down the street from the blast site, whose windows were smashed, said: “The damage to the glass is not the problem. People won’t want to come here now. We were fully booked for the next five days.”

Workers at luxury dress shops next to the site, where the entire glass facade was destroyed, were sweeping up glass, picking up damaged mannequins and counting the damage to the luxury dresses.

“I consider all this terrorism, damaging the country and the people. What can we say more? God helps us, God help this country,” said Lebanese citizen Jamal near the explosion scene.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Israel Tracks Western Jihadists in Syria, Worried About Their Return.


JERUSALEM — Israel is working with allies abroad to track Westerners fighting in Syria, concerned that such militants could attack Israeli or Jewish targets once back home, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday.

Of an estimated 10,000 foreign combatants among rebels battling Syrian President Bashar Assad, around 20 percent are from the West and that number is rising, the official said.

“Think of a scenario, even one of them returning and getting instructions from someone he worked with, someone he fought beside, someone like [the al-Qaida-linked] Nusra Front, to carry out an attack,” said the official, who is privy to intelligence assessments. “This has been keeping us very, very busy lately.”

The official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Israel was coordinating monitoring efforts with Western countries, whose legal options against fighters returning home were limited.

“It’s a problem [for Western authorities] to come and arrest someone just because he was in Syria. No one knows for sure what he did there,” the official said.

Security sources said Israeli officials monitoring Syria were meeting foreign counterparts more often, and Israeli diplomatic missions were scrutinizing visitors more closely.

The Israeli estimates for the number of Western combatants in Syria largely correspond to those cited in a report last week by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization, a partnership of five universities based at King’s College London.

The almost three-year-old Syrian civil war has indirectly helped Israel by diverting its Lebanese Hezbollah enemy, which has sent many guerrillas to fight for Assad’s army. Hezbollah battled Israel to a standstill in the 2006 Lebanon border war.

The official said Israel believed between 10,000 and 15,000 Hezbollah members have fought in Syria, but that it was not clear how many casualties the Iranian-backed group had suffered.

“There were many killed, wounded, but there are no numbers,” the official said. “It could be hundreds or thousands.”

“In all, their capabilities against Israel have been hurt. So their interest, for now, in opening a front against Israel is near zero,” the official said.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Hezbollah: Top Commander Killed in Beirut, Blames Israel.


BEIRUT — A commander for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was gunned down Wednesday outside his home in southern Beirut, security officials said. Hezbollah blamed Israel for the killing, something an official there quickly denied.
Hezbollah immediately announced the death of Hassan al-Laqis, suggesting he was a high-level commander close to the party’s leadership. It said in a statement al-Laqis killed as he returned home from work around midnight, without offering details about how he died.
Lebanese security officials said assailants opened fire on al-Laqis with an assault rifle while he was in his car, parked at the residential building where he lived in the Hadath neighborhood, some two miles (three kilometers) southwest of Beirut.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital but died early Wednesday from his wounds, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
The Lebanese state news agency later published a photograph it identified as al-Laqis. The image showed a man who appeared to be in his mid-40s, with neatly cut black hair and a graying close-cropped beard, wearing beige-and-khaki military clothing.
The statement accused Israel of being responsible for the killing. It said Israel tried to kill him several times, but had failed.
“The Israeli enemy is naturally directly to blame,” the statement said. “This enemy must shoulder complete responsibility and repercussions for this ugly crime and its repeated targeting of leaders and cadres of the resistance.”
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor denied Israeli involvement.
“Israel has nothing to do with this incident,” Palmor said. “These automatic accusations are an innate reflex with Hezbollah. They don’t need evidence, they don’t need facts, they just blame anything on Israel.”
Hezbollah has fought several wars against Israel. Al-Laqis’ son died fighting Israel in the monthlong 2006 war. Israel’s spy service has been suspected of assassinating Hezbollah commanders for more than two decades.
In 1992, Israeli helicopter gunships ambushed the motorcade of Hezbollah leader Sheik Abbas Musawi, killing him, his wife, 5-year-old son and four bodyguards. Eight years earlier, Hezbollah leader Sheik Ragheb Harb was gunned down in south Lebanon.
But one of the biggest blows for the group came in 2005 when Imad Mughniyeh, a top Hezbollah military commander, was killed by a bomb that ripped through his car in Damascus.
Current Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has rarely appeared in public since the 2006 war. In a very rare move, he traveled to neighboring Syria last week to meet the Syrian and Iranian presidents.
Hezbollah also has been fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad‘s forces in that country’s civil war, sparking attacks across neighboring Lebanon.
Al-Laqis’ killing came a half an hour after Nasrallah ended a three-hour interview with a local television station, in which he accused Saudi Arabia of being behind last month’s twin bombings that targeted the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, killing 23 people.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Hezbollah Lebanese Kano Arms Cachebags life jail.


Hezbollah-Lebanese-01

The trial of three Lebanese accused of belonging to the Hezbollah terrorist group, and in ration the Kano arm find,

ended yesterday with a Federal High Court in Abuja jailing one of them for life.

Talal Ahmad Roda, who was arrested in the Kano house where the ammunition was found, got life to imprisonment having been found guilty of conspiracy.

Mustapha Fawaz, owner of Abuja-based Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park, both companies and the second accused person, Abdallah Thahini were freed.

Justice Ademola Adeniyi, in a judgment yesterday, held that the prosecution failed to provide concrete evidence linking them with terrorism.

The Federal Government had on July 29 arraigned that three men and the companies on a 16-count charge of terrorism.

While Roda was convicted on counts 8 and 9 relating to conspiracy, Fawaz, his companies and Thahini were acquitted on all the counts.

Justice Adeniyi held that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the discharged persons are terrorists.

The judge was of the opinion that since the Hezbollah military group was not labelled a terrorist group under any Nigerian law, the court could not hold otherwise.

Justice Adeniyi observed that some aspects of the investigation were not properly conducted.

The judge also also observed that the prosecution failed by the evidence brought before the court to establish a case of terrorism against the accused persons.

He held that the prosecution was wrong by not producing before the court either the ammunition recovered from No 3, Gaiya Road, Kano or the photographer who took pictures of the ammunition.

The judge further held that the prosecution could have, as an alternative, applied to have the court visit the Kano house and see the ammunition.

Justice Adeniyi was of the opinion that the failure by the prosecution to take any of the above steps makes the the photo evidence of the ammunition tendered inadmissible.

The judge also noted that the witness brought by the prosecution who conducted the search confessed that he was neither a forensic or ballistic expert.

While the judge was about to sentence Roda, defence lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN), pleaded him to be lenient and temper justice with mercy.

He said the convict co-orperated with the security agencies all through the trial and that he has lived his entire life in Nigeria.

Prosecution lawyer, Simon Egede, said though he shared the sentiment of the defence lawyer, the law must take its course, no matter what happened.

He said that the punishment for conspiracy is life imprisonment and he urged the court to follow the law in making its pronouncement.

The judge rose for about 45 minutes and when he resumed sitting announced the sentencing of the third accused person (Roda) to life imprisonment.

Justice Adeniyi held that the terrorism law, under which he was charged, provides for life imprisonment on conviction for conspiracy, and that the court has no discretion to vary it.

“I have listened to the allocutus of the defence counsel on the issue of sentencing.

“After I have read one or two authorities as to the provision where the accused was charged, it does not give room for judicial discretion.

“I, thereby, sentence the third accused person to life imprisonment on Counts 8 and 9 and both terms are to run concurrently”.

The judge ordered that both Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park be unsealed with immediate effect.

He added that the 61,170 US dollars seized from the second accused person (Thahini) be returned to him.

The judge also directed that all personal properties seized from the discharged persons and their relatives be returned to them forthwith.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Nigerian Judge Frees Two Lebanese Terror Suspects Accused Of Hezbollah Connection, Sentences A Third To Life imprisonment.


By SaharaReporters, New York

An Abuja  Federal High Court judge today sentenced Talal Ahmad Roda, one of the three Lebanese nationals  arrested in connection with  illegal possession of weapons and Hezbollah connection to life imprisonment which, the judge ordered must be run concurrently.

Two other co-accused person, Mustapha Fawaz, the owner of a popular Amigo Supermarket and Abdallah Tahini were set free by the judge.

Giving the ruling today Justice Ademola Adeniyi said that there was no room for judicial discussion as to the first and second accused persons, he subsequently ordered that they should be released immediately with their personal belongings  released to them.

Regarding the third suspect, the judge ruled that the he was guilty of all the five counts of illegal possesion of weapons and conspiracy as he was found at the location of the arm cache in Kano.

PHOTONEWS: The Fate Of Three Lebanese Hezbollah Suspects As Decided Today In Abuja.


The Federal High Court in Abuja today ruled on the case between the Federal Government and three Lebanese suspects arrested for illegal possession of weapons and connection with the Hezbollah.  The suspects are Talal Ahmad Roda, Mustapha Fawaz, the owner of a popular Amigo Supermarket and Abdallah Tahini

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kano arrested the men on May 31 with a large cache of arms in a bunker during a raid on their residence. Weapons recovered were 17 AK 47 rifles, 44 magazines, four land mines and 12 RPG bombs, 14 RPG chargers, 11 66 mm anti-tanks weapons, one SMG magazine, one pistol and several magazines.

Also recovered were 11, 433 rounds of 7.26 mm special, 76 hand grenades, rocket-propelled guns, and 122 calibre artillery and anti-mine weapons.

The suspects, who were previously in the custody of the State Security Service (SSS), were later transferred to prison custody following an alarm raised by the suspects that their lives were not safe in the hands of the SSS.

The arrests also led to the closure of Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Recreational Center, both of which are owned by Mr. Fawaz.

However today, Justice Ademola Adeniji of the Federal High Court in Abuja acquitted and discharged Mr. Fawaz and Tahini while sentencing Ahmad Roda to life imprisonment.

Our photographers captured the end of trial here.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,693 other followers