Omar al-Atrash, arrested in connection with a recent wave of deadly bombings in Lebanon, is being interrogated at the Defense Ministry headquarters. Meanwhile, security sources said he admitted to transferring two explosives-rigged cars to Beirut and having knowledge of a plan to expand suicide attacks targeting Dahiyeh.
Atrash confessed to transporting the vehicles to a Syrian national called Abou Khaled who in turn was planning to hand them to a terrorist called Naim Abbas in cooperation with a man identified as Omar Saleh.
According to Al-Akhbar’s sources, interrogations were “hard in the first couple of days, until Atrash finally started to reveal crucial information, most importantly confessing to transferring cars and individuals from Ersal to Beirut. He handed them over to other people, not knowing what they would do with them afterward.”
These sources revealed that Atrash, detained in Chtaura last week, “admitted he had information about a jihadi group made up of Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians planning to expand the scope of attacks targeting Dahiyeh and other regions.”The sources said, “Atrash admitted to transferring two 4×4 vehicles: a Grand Cherokee and a BMW X5 to Beirut, which were placed in a warehouse owned by a man called Abu Suleiman in an unknown location on the outskirts of Dahiyeh.”
Atrash revealed that Palestinian Ibrahim Abu Mouailek (AKA Abu Jaafar), killed in clashes with the army in Chtaura last Friday “was responsible, with another Lebanese citizen currently being pursued, for planning a three-man operation in Dahiyeh that would include a machine-gun attack carried out by suicide bombers who would then detonate their explosives to be later followed by a rigged car.”
The sources said Atrash provided important information about a network transferring rigged cars from Syria to Lebanon through Ersal. He also pointed out that a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut was used several times to transfer suicide bombers and rigged cars.
Al-Akhbar learned that political and security circles close to the Future Movement(saad hariri’s party) informed Atrash’s family and other sheikhs that the army wouldn’t have arrested him if it didn’t have condemning evidence against him. These circles advised Atrash’s supporters to refrain from political escalation. However, they pledged to pull some strings with the army to ensure that he “won’t be subjected to any harm or humiliation” during the interrogations.
The cleric also transported explosive belts, hand grenades, and different ammunition, the army command added.
Atrash confessed that he had transported suicide bombers from different Arab nationalities to Syria.
They were handed over to the terrorist Takfiri Nusra Front group in Syria, said the Army Command statement.
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman was briefed yesterday by army commander General Jean Kahwaji about the security situation in Tripoli, and they followed up on current investigations and arrests.
A delegation of the Muslim Scholars Association headed by Sheikh Adnan Amama met with Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Mohammed Rashid Qabbani yesterday in the attendance of Baalbeck and Hermel Grand Mufti Ayman al-Rifai to discuss Atrash’s arrest. Qabbani hoped that “the incident’s circumstances would soon be revealed and that the whole truth would appear.”
Atrash’s lawyer, Tarek Shandab said, “All leaked information about Omar al-Atrash is incorrect. He never confessed to anything, and we have requested that medical examiner check on him to ensure he hasn’t been subjected to any torture.”
Shandab said, “The law forbids such an arrest last over 96 hours. He has been detained for four days, and this is a violation committed by the military prosecutor and the army intelligence.”