Salafist Fugitive Ahmad al-Assir Arrested at Beirut Airport
Security source indicated that the Lebanese authorities had detained fugitive Salafist Ahmad al-Assir at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport Saturday after more than two years on the run.
One source said al-Assir had "changed his look" and was trying to flee to Cairo with two men identified as Omar Abdul Rahman Taleb and Khaled Saidani.
Al-Assir, a radical terrorist, is wanted for leading clashes against the Lebanese Army in June 2013 in the neighborhood of Abra in the southern city of Sidon.
The clashes resulted in the deaths of 18 Army soldiers.
Military Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghaida demanded in February last year the death penalty for 57 individuals, including al-Assir and former singer Fadel Shaker, over the Abra clashes.
Supporters of al-Assir have gone into hiding in the aftermath of the 2013 battles; al-Assir had been at large since the battle.
The two suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian embassy in Beirut in November 2013 were known loyalists to al-Assir. That attack, carried out by the al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades, killed more than 20 people.
According to reports, after al-Assir reaches Cairo, he plans to flee to Qatar and afterward to Turkey. The reports further added that as the fugitive headed to the airport, he disguised himself as a female passenger.
Lebanese forces had been tailing al-Assir a few days back from Iqlim al-Kahroub area to Sidon in southern Lebanon.
Consequently, after al-Assir's arrest, the Lebanese army patrolled the area surrounding Ain al-Helwa refugee camp.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team