Scrolling news:

Iraq: US seeks verification of ‘Islamic State’ beheading of journalist James Foley

Japan: Torrential rains unleash deadly landslide killing a dozen people in Hiroshima

Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army demolishes cave housing family near Bethlehem

Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

Palestine: Nine Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli soldiers from West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

Lebanon: Lebanese army a target by ISIS

28th Jan 2014
By Radwan Mortada


(Al-Akhbar): Three al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadi groups have declared war on Lebanon. In a single day, the trio delivered the opening salvo of their Lebanese campaign, issuing threats in what appeared to be coordinated statements.

Three prominent jihadi groups, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, al-Nusra Front in Lebanon, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have now declared war on Lebanon. The three groups timed their announcements to take place on the same day.

Around noon on January 25, a recorded speech by Abu Sayyaf al-Ansari was broadcast, in which he pledged allegiance to ISIS. In the recording, Ansari also addressed clerics in Lebanon, especially the Muslim Scholars Association, warning them against stabbing the jihadis in the back. Ansari then gave a message to Sunnis enlisted with the “army of the cross,” a reference to the Lebanese army, calling on them to defect.

Assigning different roles among themselves, al-Nusra and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades focused their crosshairs on Hezbollah, demanding it withdraw from Syria. ISIS set its sights on, in addition to Hezbollah, “Rawafid, Nusairis, the army of the cross, and the descendants of the Salul clan,” pejorative references to Shia, Alawis, the Lebanese army, and the House of Saud, respectively. ISIS then declared, “After the banner of Islam extended from Iraq to the Levant, we have decided to pledge our allegiance from Tripoli, to be a gateway to Jerusalem from Lebanon.”

ISIS thus went well beyond the goal of forcing Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria to seek the enforcement of Sharia in Lebanon – the same stated goal for ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

According to exclusive information obtained by Al-Akhbar, ISIS attacks against Hezbollah will not be limited to Beirut’s southern suburb, but will also target areas loyal to Hezbollah in the Bekaa and South Lebanon, as well as Lebanese army targets. Jihadi sources told Al-Akhbar that the man known as Abu Omar al-Muhajir, who Abu Sayyaf said will be ISIS’ official spokesperson in Lebanon, is handling preparations for future attacks.

Also according to information obtained by Al-Akhbar, Abu Sayyaf is a Lebanese national. He was a key figure in Fatah al-Islam, and had taken part in the 2007 Nahr al-Bared conflict. Abu Sayyaf reportedly recorded his message in North Lebanon, not in the Ain al-Helweh refugee camp as rumored.

Sources said Abu Sayyaf began preparations for the pledge to ISIS about two months ago, reaching out through jihadi cells in Lebanon to jihadi organizations in Syria. From the outset, the goal of the contacts was to help ISIS expand into Lebanon.


In the same vein, Al-Akhbar has learned that the three jihadi factions are coordinating among themselves in bombings carried out in Lebanon, using the same group of people to rig cars to explode in the Syrian city of Rankous.

Meanwhile, the security services are concerned about the magnitude of attacks being planned to take place on Lebanese soil, which could target Lebanese army positions and checkpoints. Concrete fortifications have been installed around checkpoints in Beirut’s southern suburb as a countermeasure, in addition to taking exceptional security arrangements around the Defense Ministry in Yarzeh.

Making matters worse is the fact that the factions in question have exceptional expertise in explosives. Security services are also concerned that the official inauguration of an ISIS branch in Lebanon could attract foreign jihadis to a new arena for jihad – Lebanon – to fight Hezbollah.

Sunni Clerics Urge Release of Bombing Suspect

The Muslim Scholars Association, which represents Sunni clerics, continued to lobby for the release of Omar al-Atrash, who remains in custody. The clerics denounced what they called the arbitrary arrest, and said that it is often the case that people arrested amid media frenzy are soon found to be innocent.


Meanwhile, sources said that investigations with Atrash were proceeding in total secrecy, to avoid any undesired interferences. On January 26, al-Jadeed TV reported that Atrash had confessed to recruiting suicide bombers, and to having received cars rigged with explosives bound for Dahiyeh.

Quoting unnamed sources, al-Jadeed said that because of his confessions and evidence, Atrash would not have any political protection, unlike previous suspects who had been released due to political pressure. This has prompted Atrash’s supporters to attempt to secure religious and sectarian leverage for him.


This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


Leave a Comment

What is 12 + 13 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets

The Muslim News


Awards for Excellence

Read more