General Security Remains Silent on ‘Real Story’ behind al-Mawlawi’s Arrestإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The General Security Department was mum on Monday on its controversial arrest of an Islamist for allegedly contacting a terrorist organization, a move that left three people dead in gunbattles in the northern port city of Tripoli.
“We haven’t yet announced our version of the story. We are waiting for the appropriate time to tell the real story behind (Shadi) al-Mawlawi’s arrest,” a General Security official told An Nahar daily.
“We make daily arrests of wanted people either at the airport or the land and sea borders or the interior,” he said, adding the department’s actions “are under the direct supervision of the competent judiciary and in coordination with it.”
The general security official refused to comment on Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi’s decision to file a lawsuit after the agency lured al-Mawlawi to an office of his welfare association in Tripoli under the pretext that he would receive health care.
This led to sectarian violence between the rival neighborhoods of mainly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, whose residents are Alawites and backers of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Four people, including a soldier, died in the fighting.
According to al-Jadeed TV, al-Mawlawi had returned from the neighboring country three days ago.
Informed security sources also told al-Akhbar newspaper that the suspect, who had entered Syria several times lately, had ties with armed groups there.
But his family denied and several Tripoli officials said the man is a backer of the Syrian revolution against the Assad regime but is not involved in the fighting with the rebels.
An Nahar said the suspect was arrested two years ago on suspicion of belonging to an extremist organization. But he was later released for lack of evidence.
His arrest on Saturday drew widespread condemnation and al-Mustaqbal movement MPs asked the General Security Department to apologize for its actions.
According to An Nahar, Premier Najib Miqati has expressed surprise at al-Mawlawi’s arrest by the agency, telling the Higher Defense Council meeting on Sunday that the agency usually seizes people at the airport and border checkpoints and not inside the country.
Al-Liwaa quoted him as saying that the way the arrest was carried out was “rejected and condemned.”
“I am personally against the way he was seized,” Miqati said.