The Lebanese government confirms the arrest of the leader of an al-Qaeda-linked group involved in a bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut in November.
Majed al-Majed, the Saudi commander of the al-Qaeda-affiliated group Abdullah Azzam Brigades, “was arrested by the intelligence services of the Lebanese army in Beirut,” Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn said on Wednesday.
“He was wanted by the Lebanese authorities and is currently being interrogated in secret,” the minister added.
On Tuesday, the Lebanese LBCI television reported that Majed had been arrested about a week ago in the Lebanese capital.
On November 19, two bomb attacks outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut killed 25 people and injured more than 150. Iran’s Cultural Attaché to Beirut Hojjatoleslam Ebrahim Ansari and the wife of another Iranian diplomat were among the dead.
On December 3, Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said Saudi Arabia is behind the bombing, adding that he has no doubt that the Saudi intelligence agency has close links with the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
The Abdullah Azzam Brigades “is a bona fide group that has a Saudi emir and its leadership is directly linked to Saudi intelligence,” Nasrallah said.
The Hezbollah chief also noted that the bombing was Saudi Arabia’s expression of anger against Tehran because of Riyadh’s defeat in Syria.
Syria has been gripped by deadly crisis since 2011. Reports indicate that the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside the country.