Akkar Man Qutaiba al-Satem is Haret Hreik Suicide Bomber, DNA Tests Revealإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
DNA testing on Friday confirmed that a deadly bombing in Beirut's southern suburbs was carried out by an anti-Assad suicide bomber who hailed from the northern district of Akkar.
Wadi Khaled resident Qutaiba Mohammed al-Satem has been confirmed to be the suicide bomber who blew himself up in Haret Hreik, according to DNA testing, state-run National News Agency reported.
Earlier, reports said the identity paper of a 20-year-old Lebanese University student named Qutaiba al-Satem was found near the bombing site in Haret Hreik district.
LBCI TV said al-Satem, who hails from the border area of Wadi Khaled and is a student at the LU's Tripoli campus, left his parents' house along with his cousin on December 30.
His father, the Imam of a mosque in Wadi Khaled, reported them missing the next day, it said.
Speaking to reporters in Haret Hreik, caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said Satem's father had informed the security services that his son had gone missing on December 30.
According to Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3), al-Satem was previously fighting in Syria alongside rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad.
The Lebanese army, which is questioning his father, did not confirm the reports.
"The father of young Qutaiba al-Satem has been called in by the army intelligence branch in the area, because his 20-year-old son is believed to have detonated himself yesterday in southern Beirut," Noureddine al-Ahmed, mayor of the northern area of Wadi Khaled, told Agence France Presse.
Mayor Ahmed said the suspicions over Satem's alleged role were based on the finding of a personal identification document at the scene of the blast, in the busy Al-Arid Street in Haret Hreik.
Qutaiba's father was interrogated at the army's intelligence branch in Tripoli before he was transferred to Beirut for DNA testing.
According to LBCI, the father told interrogators that his son has recently endorsed "extremist views."
Acting General Prosecutor Samir Hammoud, who inspected the site of the blast along with State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr, told reporters that the attack was most probably carried out by a suicide bomber.
On Friday evening, Hizbullah's al-Manar television broadcast a video showing how the booby-trapped Grand Cherokee exploded Thursday in the middle of a street in Haret Hreik.
As the metal barriers prevented the driver from parking the SUV on the side of the road, according to the TV network, the car suddenly exploded in a ball of fire, creating a big plume of smoke that quickly dissipated due to the bomb's relatively small weight.
A number of citizens fleeing the blast scene also appear in the footage, which shows a school bus moving directly behind the explosives-rigged car.
As the Hizbullah-affiliated television did not confirm the suicide bomber hypothesis, it noted that this is the most likely scenario.
The army said on Thursday that 20 kilograms of explosives were placed in a dark green Grand Cherokee, which was reportedly driven by the young suicide bomber.
The explosion came a week after a car bombing in downtown Beirut killed Mohammed Shatah, former finance minister and top aide to ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
In November, suicide bombers targeted the Iranian Embassy in Beirut's southern suburbs.
Al-Satem family condemned the Haret Hreik bombing after news broke Friday that the explosion could have been carried out by Qutaiba.
It called for a transparent investigation and said it rejected any assault on any Lebanese citizen.
"My polite, reasonable son would not do that! That's impossible!" his mother cried.
Satem's family and other Wadi Khaled tribes published a statement saying: "The culture of Wadi Khaled is not blood-thirsty. It is a culture of moderation, forgiveness and peaceful co-existence."
The families also said Satem "does not belong to any political or religious party, and he was preparing to travel to France in order to continue his studies."
They called on the security services to conduct a "fair and transparent" investigation.
Wadi Khaled tribes said Qutaiba is “an engineering student and he intended to travel to France.”
“He listens to music and does not know how to drive a car,” they said.
Meanwhile, the army intelligence directorate freed Arsal residents Sami al-Hujairi and Mohammed Ezzedine, who had owned the Grand Cherokee in the past, after it turned out that they have nothing to do with the bomb attack.
Both men turned themselves in to the army on Thursday in the wake of the blast after their names were mentioned in media reports. Hujairi submitted documents that confirm that he had sold the vehicle months ago.