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US-israel fabrication Al-Qaeda declares war on Lebanon: Army, Hezbollah targets

Al-Qaeda declares war on Lebanon: Army, Hezbollah targets

Three al-Qaeda-affiliated militant 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 terrorist groups, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, al-Nusra Front in Lebanon, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) 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 ISIL. In the recording, Ansari also addressed clerics in Lebanon, especially the Muslim Scholars Association, warning them against stabbing the militants 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.
Shortly after Abu Sayyaf’s speech, Grad rockets were fired on Hermel, for which the Abdullah Azzam Brigades-affiliated Marwan Hadid Brigades and al-Nusra Front in Lebanon claimed joint responsibility.
Assigning different roles among themselves, al-Nusra and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades focused their crosshairs on Hezbollah, demanding it withdraw from Syria. ISIL set its sights on, in addition to Hezbollah, “Rawafid, Nusairis, the army of the cross,” Alawis, the Lebanese army, and the House of Saud, respectively. ISIL 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.”
ISIL 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 ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
According to exclusive information obtained by Al-Akhbar, ISIL 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. Militant sources told Al-Akhbar that the man known as Abu Omar al-Muhajir, who Abu Sayyaf said will be ISIL’ 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 ISIL about two months ago, reaching out through jihadi cells in Lebanon to terrorist organizations in Syria. From the outset, the goal of the contacts was to help ISIL expand into Lebanon.
ISIL 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
In effect, the war declared on ISIL in Syria by other Syrian opposition factions accelerated the process of setting up a franchise in Lebanon. Despite rumors about disputes between ISIL, al-Nusra, and Abdullah Azzam Brigades, reports confirm that the three factions are cooperating in Lebanon, as evident from their coordinated operations. For instance, al-Nusra and Abdullah Azzam Brigades stage rocket attacks jointly, while ISIL’ statement read by Abu Sayyaf explicitly thanked Abdullah Azzam Brigades for striking Shias in general and Hezbollah in particular, in reference to the Iranian embassy bombing.
In the same vein, Al-Akhbar has learned that the three terrorist 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 ISIL branch in Lebanon could attract foreign militants to a new arena for war in Lebanon.

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