Saudi citizen kidnapped in Beirut released in Army 'special operation'


Lebanese Army intelligence agents liberated Tuesday near the Syrian border a Saudi citizen who had been kidnapped Saturday from Beirut. The man reportedly had been held for ransom.

A statement by the Lebanese military said Mushari al-Mutairi was released in a “special operation” along the Lebanon-Syria border, where the kidnappers held him hostage. Some of the involved in the kidnapping were arrested, the statement said.

Local Lebanese media reported that al-Mutairi was released in the northeastern district of Hermel.

State-run Saudi TV station Al-Ekhbariya had reported that the kidnapped man works for Saudi national airlines Saudia and that the kidnappers demanded a $400,000 ransom.

The man was kidnapped around midnight Saturday on the road leading to Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport.

Members of the intelligence department had been searching for the Saudi citizen since Sunday and authorities were following the case with the Saudi ambassador to Beirut.

“We are working with an iron fist” to liberate the kidnapped person, Caretaker Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi tweeted. He said that those behind the kidnapping will be punished. On Tuesday Mawlawi congratulated the armed forces on the operation's success.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati also congratulated the army and called on Arab tourists to visit the crisis-hit country adding that Lebanon will not be used for any attack against Arab countries.

Comments 1
Thumb SupportBeirut 30 May 2023, 15:13

Joseph Sader was kidnapped on the morning of 12 February 2009, on the road leading to Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport, under the watchful eyes of the Hezballah monitored security cameras. In 2008 Hezballah almost caused a sectarian war to protect those cameras. Hezballah is still refusing to share the footage showing the abduction. They obviously don't want to incriminate themselves. The cameras are there allegedly to protect Hezballah, but what protects the Lebanese people and foreign travelers from Hezballah?