Army Says Jammo Murder Not Political, Wife to be Reportedly Questioned Soonإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Preliminary investigations into the shooting assassination on Wednesday of pro-regime Syrian figure Mohammed Darrar Jammo in south Lebanon have revealed that the crime was not politically motivated, the Lebanese Army Command announced on Thursday.
“Following the murder of Syrian activist Mohammed Darrar Jammo in the Sarafand region on July 17, 2013, the Intelligence Directorate started its investigations and managed to identify and arrest the perpetrators and seize the weapons used to commit the crime,” the Army Command's Orientation Directorate said in a statement.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that there are no political motives behind the incident and the (intelligence) directorate's probe is still underway to unveil all the circumstances of the crime,” it added.
In an interview on al-Jadeed television earlier on Thursday, al-Akhbar newspaper journalist Hasan Ollaik said: “The probe has revealed that the murder has nothing to do with politics or with the martyr's political stances and that familial and social reasons were behind it.”
“The Lebanese security agencies have started their investigations and four people have been arrested, with two of them confessing to plotting and executing the crime and revealing all of its details,” Ollaik added.
He said the arrested suspects are a brother and a nephew of Jammo's wife, noting that they told interrogators about problems between the Syrian figure and his spouse that pushed him to refrain from visiting Lebanon for six months.
“Syrian authorities have been informed of the details and the wife, which is now in Syria for the funeral, will be interrogated,” Ollaik added.
He said the detainees confessed to deactivating the surveillance cameras installed around Jammo's residence two days before the crime, although some reports have said that they were switched off six months ago.
Ollaik revealed that “the conflicting testimonies started from the very first moment and security authorities were not convinced of what they heard, so they resorted to additional elements in order to arrest the suspects.”
Gunmen burst into the first floor apartment of Jammo at dawn Wednesday, killing him in a hail of nearly 30 bullets in the town of Sarafand, which is a Hizbullah stronghold.
Jammo, a 44-year-old journalist and political commentator, was one of Syrian President Bashar Assad's and Hizbullah's most vociferous defenders. In frequent appearances on television talk shows, he would staunchly support the Syrian regime's strong-armed response to the uprising and in at least one case shouted down opposition figures, calling them "traitors."
Jammo's hard-line stance had earned him enemies among Syria's opposition, and some in the anti-Assad camp referred to him as "shabih," a term used for pro-government gunmen who have been blamed for some of the worst mass killings of the civil war.