Wissam al-Hasan Assassinated in Ashrafiyeh Bomb Blast

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Brigadier General Wissam al-Hasan, chief of the Intelligence Bureau of the Internal Security Forces, was killed on Friday in a car bomb attack in the Beirut district of Ashrafiyeh, state-run National News Agency reported.

The powerful explosion rocked a street adjacent to Sassine Square in Ashrafiyeh, leaving seven other people dead and 78 others wounded, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008.

Hasan was close to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and hostile to the regime in Syria. He had been tipped to take over as ISF head at the end of this year.

The ISF played a central role in the arrest in August of former Lebanese information minister Michel Samaha, who has close links to Damascus and was charged with planning attacks in Lebanon and transporting explosives in collaboration with Syrian security chief Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi, meanwhile, condemned what he called a "terrorist, cowardly" attack, saying such incidents "are unjustifiable wherever they occur."

The incident has touched off painful memories of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war and the political unrest that has troubled post-war years.

It occurred in a busy square of Ashrafiyeh as pupils were leaving schools and bank employees headed home.

State Prosecutor Hatem Madi said the car "was blown off dozens of meters (yards)" from where it was parked on a street off Sassine Square. Bomb experts told Agence France Presse the car was packed with 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of explosives.

Mangled remains of the car sat atop another vehicle amid a sea of devastation, broken glass and rubble.

Two apartment blocs were gutted, with balconies torn off by the force of the blast. Windows were shattered, cars below crushed by falling masonry and shreds of what used to be curtains dangled from upper floors.

Firemen rushed to put out flames and Red Cross workers braved the blaze in one building to evacuate bloodied casualties.

"We heard a powerful explosion. The earth shook under our feet," said Roland, 19, among a large crowd of army, rescue workers and onlookers.

Nancy, aged 45, was in tears as she reflected on having narrowly escaped death. "Had we not been out of the house buying medicines, we would have died," she said. "Our house was burned. Thank God we're alive.

A rescue worker, identifying himself as Rahmeh, said "this reminds me of attacks during the civil war and after the war."

Comments 121
Missing mohammad_ca 19 October 2012, 19:33

now we know how pissed off ASSad and his goons are at the arrest of Samaha...RIP you served your country well...

Thumb bigsami 19 October 2012, 19:58

Hasan was close to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and hostile to the regime in Syria. >>>>> Need anyone say more....? Can't wait until the day comes when the world is rid of Assad/HA/Iran! Evil people!

Missing peace 19 October 2012, 19:44

the one M8 kept insulting... mowaten and FT should be happy now...

RIP

Missing peace 19 October 2012, 22:29

come on it suits the interests of your orange puppet who kept insulting him, it suits you desire to kill M14 people as you once wished it... be happy your dreams come true...

Thumb jadski 19 October 2012, 23:49

Our hate ? some nerve, when a man that served his country was blown to bits along with 7 other innocent people, thats the hate of the people you support. yes .. let the people M8 hang along with all the syrian government . they are murderers, they plot deaths of people and BLOW them up , they wait for them to come to their home and country to kill them and everyone else in their vicinity. the people U follow and support, regardless of ur reasons, they all need to be hanged. and dont i dare bring up the civil war.

Thumb bigsami 20 October 2012, 00:11

Man your an insult to human intelligence schizo Farsi. Not even a sign of remorse or humanity for the loss of a life. Just wish I could meet you in a dark alley.....wish!

Missing Cyanide 20 October 2012, 05:02

I wish you hang flame thrower.. and i wonna spit on you when you do!!!!! MF

Thumb thepatriot 20 October 2012, 10:15

Do yourself a favor FT, at least today... SHUT UP!

Thumb jadski 20 October 2012, 10:50

"people like you are better off dead and i say it with no remorse, because you keep hate and accusations alive in a time where lebanese unity is more needed than ever."

nice man . tfeh 3aleyk. our hate is not the problem in this country. its people like u who support the hate that kills. the hate that murders. YOU are the hate. but your an idiot, and you dont even know it. stop saying RIP to the people that die because of M8, like you give a sh it. ma fee ashtar minak criticizing them when they are alive. khaleek sekit. Tfeh Tfeh Tfeh.

Missing jayjay 20 October 2012, 12:39

guys guys, dont expect much from FT...his leader is a self preserving, power hungry DICTATOR wannabee...so lets keep smiling till the sunni salafis start retaliating against HA, Aoun, SSNP...WOW who would have thought that one day Aoun would be put in the same box as those other scum!!! FUNNY..sad but funny

Default-user-icon Abb (Guest) 19 October 2012, 19:46

RIP from a Shiite!

Default-user-icon jason (Guest) 19 October 2012, 19:47

i am sure aoun is finally happy!

Default-user-icon Lebanonisfallingbeforeus (Guest) 19 October 2012, 19:47

I would love to hear someone from either side dispute who did this? There is only 1 team that could have done this according the targeted man. RIP Chief Hassan. A true martyr who uncovered bombings like this one, but sadly this bombing caught up to him. I thank you for all the lives you have saved, and god send us someone to protect us.

Thumb geha 19 October 2012, 19:49

lately aoun again was after him.
wisam al hassan will be avenged.
this means clearly war.

Missing gcb1 19 October 2012, 19:56

Man your unrealistic non-sense comments downgrade the content of this whole website.

Missing gcb1 19 October 2012, 19:57

And that has nothing to do with you being with M14.

Missing peace 19 October 2012, 19:57

you shouldn t fall into the trap, it is exactly what those who did this murder, want lebanese to do...

Missing gcb1 19 October 2012, 20:05

Thank you, finally someone says this.

Default-user-icon Canuckian (Guest) 19 October 2012, 20:11

Perhaps it was done by people who want war.

Missing sikoflebanon 19 October 2012, 20:14

it sure is a clear declaration of war. I just hope there are still men in Lebanon ready to stand up to this murderous regime and his chronies. Geha is damn right! it's being killed fighting for your basic human rights or being killed sitting on your balcony by a terrorist attack. Get your weapons ready suckers, if you don't go after them they're coming to get you.

Missing mohammad_ca 20 October 2012, 03:29

a hizbocrap ally talking against war???

Thumb liefighter 20 October 2012, 07:12

You don't know who are them coz you are stupid, and the problem is: you are happy with it

Missing realist 20 October 2012, 08:02

nchala one day a suicide bomber kills 3oon taba3ak and we will nishamt feek, we will see how you feel then, tfeh 3alek teshmat bil amwat.

Default-user-icon georges khoury (Guest) 20 October 2012, 21:00

them is hizballah.proof,,,they refused to surrender the accused in boutros harb assasination attempt.sarcasticly to wissam hassan.u do the math.

Default-user-icon Thalmos Gianatis (Guest) 19 October 2012, 19:50

He was a great inspector who always uncovered assassination plots by assassins he trapped. Too bad this one wasn't one of those. Surely, he will be missed.

Missing peace 19 October 2012, 22:41

at least aoun uncovered that the syrians killed hariri ;)

the other killings he was more evasive as he cannot say it is his new friends....

Default-user-icon Thalmos Gianatis (Guest) 20 October 2012, 01:04

Care should be taken to the phrase: "uncovered assassination plots by assassins HE TRAPPED." This is pure sarcasm that everybody overlooked, and that is reflected in the thumbs up by March 14 and also in FT's comment (who is not M14). As an example, he set Samaha into a trap and so he was able to catch him (the only one SO FAR). He did not catch anyone else, this late great inspector!!! Never mind, though, friends and foes. No hard feelings against anyone.

Missing realist 20 October 2012, 08:03

your aoun will run away like a rabbit when the shit hits the fan and you will be stuck to face the consequences of your arrogance alone.

Default-user-icon RIP (Guest) 19 October 2012, 19:50

RIP ... his blood is on the hands of NASSRALLAH, ASSAD and AOUN for supporting these pieces of shit !

Shame of all their followers for being soooooooooo blind !