Security Agencies Uncover Terrorist Network Linked to al-Mawlawi

Security agencies succeeded in the past few days in uncovering a terrorist network with local, Arab, and European links, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Tuesday.

It said that the confessions of one of the detainees led to the arrest of Sunni Islamist Shadi al-Mawlawi, a development which sparked armed clashes in the northern city of Tripoli over the weekend.

The General Security detained in Tripoli last week Hamza Mahmoud Tarbey whose confessions led to al-Mawlawi’s arrest.

The six-member network includes three Lebanese individuals and a national from each of Qatar, Palestine, and Jordan.

They have each been arrested at various times in the past in Lebanon, added al-Joumhouria.

Sources told the newspaper that this was the first time in Lebanon that an entire network is arrested.

Military Tribunal Judge Saqr Saqr had charged on Monday al-Mawlawi and the five other network members with forming an armed terrorist group and undermining the authority of the state, as well as having links to the al-Qaida.

He later issued an arrest warrant against al-Mawlawi.

Prominent security sources told As Safir newspaper on Tuesday that the General Security Department took the initiative to arrest al-Mawlawi given the evidence against him.

Investigations with him soon proved the department right as he confessed to the charges against him, added the sources.

They revealed that a European power contributed information on al-Mawlawi’s terrorist activity outside of Lebanon.

Al-Mawlawi was arrested on Saturday after the General Security Department lured him to an office at Finance Minister Mohammed al-Safadi’s welfare association in Tripoli.

His arrest sparked clashes between the rival Tripoli neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.

Some opposition officials have accused the General Security of acting on foreign orders, while Interior Minister Marwan Charbel has summoned the officer who lured al-Mawlawi to the office for questioning over the manner in which the arrest was made.

Al-Mawlawi's supporters say he was targeted because of his help for Syrian refugees fleeing to Lebanon.

The General Security Department detained a Jordanian called Abdulmalek Mohammed Youssef Othman Abdulsalam, who is linked to al-Qaida, the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported on Monday.

Abdulsalam was extradited by the Iranian authorities to Syria in the past few months, and then he entered Lebanon and was arrested when he was on his way to the Rafik Hariri International Airport.

Investigations revealed that Abdulsalam had continuous contacts with al-Qaida-linked figures in Afghanistan.

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