Report: Starco Bomb Car Stolen from Shouf, Taken to Ain el-Hilwehإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The olive green Honda CRV used in the assassination of former minister Mohammed Shatah was stolen in early 2013 from the town of Rmeileh in the Shouf district, a media report citing preliminary investigations said on Friday.
“During the ongoing investigations, it turned out that a black Honda CRV belonging to Internal Security Forces Warrant Officer Elie F. was stolen from the Shouf coast area before it was seized by the Lebanese army at one of its checkpoints at the entrance of the (Palestinian) Ain el-Hilweh camp only several days after the theft of the first (olive green) car,” As Safir newspaper quoted sources involved in the investigation as saying.
The sources said “Ahmed A., aka Abu al-Daoud, was driving the black car and confessed during interrogation that he stole the olive green CRV that targeted Shatah's convoy in collaboration with a man called Moussa M. and another called Mohammed S. and nicknamed Mohammed al-Sarii,” adding that the car was carrying a license plate with the number 177647/S.
“This (olive green) car entered the Ain el-Hilweh camp some time ago and was given to a man nicknamed Talal al-Ordoni,” the sources quoted Abu al-Daoud as saying.
The sources noted that Moussa M. and Mohammed al-Sarii were members of the Fatah al-Islam who receive their orders from the group's top official Haitham al-Shaabi.
“Foreign inmate Morshed Abdul Rahman, who is jailed at the central Roumieh prison over the case of the two cars, confirmed to interrogators that Moussa M. and Mohammed al-Sarii took the car to the Ain el-Hilweh camp and that they are members of Fatah al-Islam,” the sources added.
But later on Friday, Munir al-Maqdah, a military commander of the Palestinian Fatah Movement, said the three men mentioned in the report are not members of Fatah al-Islam but rather of the Fatah Movement.
"Talal al-Ordoni is a Fatah colonel, Mohammed al-Sarii is a 15-year-old football player ... and Mohammed Saleh was briefly detained (by Lebanese security forces) for two hours today," Maqdah told LBCI television.
"This issue poses a threat to the Palestinian camps and we won't provide political cover for anyone," he noted.
Maqdah revealed that the three men were "jointly interrogated with Roumieh prison inmates and they denied any involvement in taking the car to the Ain el-Hilweh camp."
In response to a question, Maqdah confirmed that Haitham al-Shaabi is present at the al-Tawari neighborhood in Ain el-Hilweh, describing him as "one of the remnants of Jund al-Sham."
Shatah -- a former finance minister and an adviser to ex-Premier Saad Hariri -- was killed in a powerful car bombing in the Starco area in central Beirut as he was heading to a March 14 meeting at the Center House.
Several people were killed and dozens others were also wounded in the attack.