'Free Sunnis Brigade' under Prosecution, Azzam Brigades Say Twitter Account Run by Hizbullah Affiliatesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
While ambiguity continues to surround the so-called Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigade, Sheikh Sirajeddine Zouraykat of the Abdulllah Azzam Brigades said on Friday that the group's Twitter account as “fake” one run by sides affiliated with Hizbullah.
"The Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigade is a fake account run by sides affiliated with Hizbullah and we should be cautious and avoid communicating with it,” Zouraykat wrote on his own account on the social media website Twitter.
Soon after, the Brigade replied to Zouraykat's claims.
“You describe us as an intelligence body just because we announced war on Lebanon's Christians,” the group tweeted.
“You are the ones working for the interest of foreign powers,” it added.
Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigade then announced its “readiness to fight any group in Lebanon that dares to harm our principles and believes.”
The Brigade had vowed earlier this week to task gunmen to attack churches in Lebanon and in the eastern Bekaa valley in particular.
It said on its twitter account that a “specialized group of free jihadists were tasked with cleansing the Islamic state of Bekaa in particular and in Lebanon in general from the churches.”
Following these alarming tweets, Lebanese authorities contacted Twitter's administrators to communicate these threats with them and try to identify who is behind the account.
In the same context, the Internal Security Forces' cyber crimes bureau announced on Friday that the Twitter account of the vague Brigade is under prosecution.
"(Lebanese) authorities informed Twitter's administrators about the Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigade account following its latest tweets on attacking churches,” Maj. Suzan al-Hajj, chief of the ISF cyber crime bureau told LBCI television.
"Authorities did not give much attention to this account before, but decided to act after its latest tweets on attacking churches,” she pointed out.
She said Lebanese authorities will coordinate with the Interpol to prosecute those operating the account, explaining that their doings are a punishable crime.
Al-Hajj revealed that the account was first activated on a Blackberry device on July 22, 2013 in London, but was later operated in several Arab countries.
According to the cyber crimes bureau's chief, two fake names have operated the account and they are Omar al-Shami, a former Syrian inmate who died in the Adra prison in the neighboring country, and Saifullah al-Shayyah, who does no exist.
The mysterious Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigade recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, previously known as the Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant.
In the past, the Brigade announced its affiliation with ISIL but the extremist group denied it.
On March 16, the Brigade engaged in a war of words with the al-Nusra Front in Lebanon, believed to be a local franchise of the Syria-based, Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front.
The dispute erupted after both groups claimed responsibility on Twitter for a deadly suicide bombing that rocked the Bekaa town of al-Nabi Othman.
The Brigade has claimed responsibility for several rocket and bomb attacks inside Lebanon, the last of which were the suicide blasts in Dahr al-Baydar and Raouche's Duroy Hotel.