Suspect in Caracas Shooting Reportedly Linked to Group Tied to Hariri Assassination

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One of the suspects arrested in the Caracas shooting in Beirut on Wednesday is a Jordanian national who is linked to an organization linked to the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, reported al-Manar television on Thursday.

It said that Hani al-Shanti is accused of belonging to the “Group of 13” organization that confessed to assassinating the former premier on February 14, 2005.

Shanti had just been released from jail some three months ago, reported LBC television.

It added that he began working in the music sector after his release.

Security sources told al-Manar that investigations are underway to determine what a group linked to al-Qaida is doing in a “sensitive district of Beirut.”

For its part, Al-Jadeed television reported that Shanti is a close friend of Khaled Taha, who is a member of the “Group of 13.”

He studied at the Arab University and was imprisoned in Roumieh jail between 2005 and 2011.

Al-Jadeed said that he had rented more than one apartment in Beirut’s Tariq al-Jedideh and al-Basta neighborhoods.

Security forces found weapons in each of the apartments, it added.

Early on Thursday, security forces stormed a building in Beirut after a nighttime shootout with gunmen holed up inside a flat, in an incident which left two dead and seven wounded, security sources said.

One gunman was killed in the shootout and the body of another man was found inside the flat in west Beirut's Caracas district, a security official told Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity.

Another gunman was wounded, the army said in a statement, adding that the man had previously been "detained for several years in Lebanon for security reasons," without elaborating.

The security official said the spark for the shootout was a personal dispute between at least one of the men and a woman in her early 20s. The dead man and the woman, detained in the incident, were Syrian nationals, he said.

The army said it also arrested a guard described as "suspicious" and the wounded gunman, having rushed to the site late Wednesday after reports of gunfire.

According to the army, the man who was found dead in the flat had been killed during a clash between gunmen that took place prior to the arrival of security forces.

Gunmen subsequently lobbed grenades and began shooting at the security forces from the flat, wounding at least six policemen and soldiers. The military said it found a large amount of weapons in the flat.

The shootout came amid heightened tensions in Lebanon, where deadly sectarian violence has broken out in the past two weeks linked to the unrest sweeping neighboring Syria.

The U.S. embassy in Beirut on Thursday warned American citizens to be aware of prevailing "tensions" and "violent incidents" in Lebanon.

Comments 22
Missing ulpianus 24 May 2012, 11:26

We have a long path to walk when after a dispute a man starts to "lob grenades on the security forces"

Anyway, the results was good. One criminal less.

Thumb geha 24 May 2012, 17:20

now we know he was in jail and got out 3 months ago, I wonder why the security officials were not monitoring him.
he had rented several appartments and already had weapons in each of them. why and how? who is supporting such thugs?

Missing anonymetexasusa 24 May 2012, 17:34

Yeah Geha
I read the same thing....The Army also found a treasure trove of information too in those apartment...hopefully that would lead to the arrest and dismantling of all these terrorist gangs

Missing ulpianus 24 May 2012, 11:26

We have a long path to walk when after a dispute a man starts to "lob grenades on the security forces"

Anyway, the results was good. One criminal less.

Missing ulpianus 24 May 2012, 11:26

We have a long path to walk when after a dispute a man starts to "lob grenades on the security forces"

Anyway, the results was good. One criminal less.

Missing ulpianus 24 May 2012, 11:26

We have a long path to walk when after a dispute a man starts to "lob grenades on the security forces"

Anyway, the results was good. One criminal less.

Thumb dasphinx 24 May 2012, 11:39

Let's burn tires to protest the killing of the bad guys! Heck, a man fighting with his wife is now burning tires! This country is headed in chaos. I do not see an alternative to the current lame government, something that does not comfort me at all.

Default-user-icon Jeeby (Guest) 24 May 2012, 12:17

holed up? or hold up you mean? sound a funny spelling mistake in the text of the report.

Default-user-icon rob (Guest) 24 May 2012, 12:44

It is after all, tyre burning season. It the one time in the year that the tyre changers find a way of disposing the old tyres

Missing anonymetexasusa 24 May 2012, 20:33

I heard they are being sold for LBP5,000 the pair...LOL

Thumb shab 24 May 2012, 12:49

Most primitive action is tire burning and celebratory shooting. Typical third world nation.

Thumb benzona 24 May 2012, 13:06

Shab, lebanon isn't a 3rd world nation, it's worse as it's underclass.

It's shameful to be lebanese nowadays...

Default-user-icon lubnani (Guest) 24 May 2012, 13:06

I live close by to the whole thing, all in all it was quite an exciting night. Thank god, those animals are either dead or arrested.

Missing anonymetexasusa 24 May 2012, 15:38

Hmmm
Yesterday's event were numerous and varied.
1'st we had news about the Pilgrims killed in Irak => Demonstration/Tire burning / Airport Road closure.
2'nd we had the killing of Ne3man => Demonstration/Tire burning / Jdiedeh Antelias Road Closures.
3'rd we had the Huvelin Incident.
4'th we had this so called dispute that spunoff to a 10 hour armed stand-off with hand grenades being tossed at the army.
I wonder if Today's events will top that???

Default-user-icon AAAH_YA_LOBNAN (Guest) 24 May 2012, 18:08

Our problem in Lebanon that no central government speaker to tell the truth (If he dare to)- but we heard instead; Almanar said, Aljadeed said, Almostakbal said ( what we said ?!?!)

Missing people-power 24 May 2012, 19:49

How cute, Al Manar trying to deflect guilt of indicted Hezbollah members regarding the Hariri assassination

Thumb Bandoul 24 May 2012, 20:55

LOL! Did you think they would miss out on the opportunity? Next, the turban head and leader of the fake resistance will tell us he has aerial surveillance of the whole thing.

Default-user-icon Khalil (Guest) 24 May 2012, 20:06

U people call yourself Lebanese. You are practicing exactly what the government are doing. Blaming it on others. Time to take responsibility and work to resolving problems no throwing petrol on flames. If u don't like the country you easily jump the fence and join the arseholes in Israel and curse like them. Be proud of our country and our people and stop hating cos that's what the Jews want.

Default-user-icon Khalil (Guest) 24 May 2012, 20:15

Btw. That message was directed at benzona and shab. 3rd world?????? It would be one of the richest countries in the world if arseholes like you and the Americans would keep your nasty comments to yourselfs. People power. What are blabbing on about???? Don't tell me march 14. Blah blah blah

Default-user-icon optoelectronics (Guest) 24 May 2012, 21:28

nice picture btw heheheheh

Default-user-icon blackgreenwhite (Guest) 25 May 2012, 03:15

apparently we r back/still in the dark ages... So I guess best is to replace stop signs with criminal heads on spears! its the only way some sub humans around us might learn/fear

Default-user-icon Daniel Sulieman (Guest) 25 May 2012, 08:13

Another one bite the dust:) Bravo Lebanese Army, job well done and less terrorists on our streets:)