Naharnet

Jihadist 'Caliph' Vows to Free Roumieh 'Captives,' Attack Judges

Self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has vowed to release Muslim “hostages” from jails in Arab countries, including Lebanon, and promised to “liquidate their butchers.”

According to a video posted on YouTube on Sunday, the shadowy jihadist said the “butchers” include judges, security forces and guards.

Al-Baghdadi heads the Islamic State (IS) group, which led a lighting offensive in Iraq that has overrun swathes of five provinces north and west of Baghdad.

A text appeared in the video, accusing the Lebanese state of being a U.S. and Israeli ally.

It also showed Mohammed Zwawi, a Palestinian-Syrian, who claimed that he is an inmate in Roumieh, Lebanon's largest prison.

The video was allegedly shot at Roumieh's bloc B.

Zwawi has been sentenced to death over his involvement in the fighting between Fatah al-Islam militants and the Lebanese army at the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in 2007.

Last week, the emir of the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra in al-Qalamoun promised in an audio message to free Islamist prisoners in Roumieh “within days.”

Abou Malek al-Shami described the inmates as “Muslim captives and jihadist brethren.”

The threats come amid strong measures taken by security forces and the army around Roumieh over an alleged plot to carry out a truck bombing and a plan by prisoners to escape from the facility.

The authorities have announced the arrest in the past weeks of several suspected terrorists plotting to carry out suicide bombings in Lebanon.

Previous attacks have been claimed by extremists, who have vowed to carry out more assaults to avenge the presence of Hizbullah fighters in Syria.

G.K.

H.K.


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