Report: Qaida-Linked Militants Mobilizing in Ain el-Hilweh
The Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp that lies near the southern city of Sidon is witnessing an unprecedented mobilization of militants, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Thursday.
Fatah al-Islam and Jund al-Sham are no longer active, it said, adding that the new terrorist groups linked to al-Qaida are Jabhat al-Nusra and Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
According to the newspaper, the number of militants that have received training and arms has reached 120. They mainly spread in Ain el-Hilweh's al-Taware' neighborhood under the leadership of Haitham and Mohammed al-Shaabi.
Several militants are also located in al-Sefsaf neighborhood and receive orders from Osama al-Shehabi.
As for fighters located in al-Manshiyyeh, they follow the orders of Toufiq Tah and those in al-Tireh are led by Bilal Bader.
Around 70 members of Takfiri groups have entered Ain el-Hilweh in the past week, al-Joumhouria said.
Fadel Shaker, who was once a pop idol and is located in al-Taware neighborhood, is also leading a group of young militants, the newspaper said.
Shaker disappeared as a gun-toting hard-liner in a shootout with the Lebanese army in Sidon in June.
Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir, who has also disappeared along with Shaker, his most famous disciple, has left Ain el-Hilweh months ago and is likely to be residing in the Syrian border area of al-Qalamoun, al-Joumhouria said.
It said that the head of the Mujahedeen movement in Ain el-Hilweh, Sheikh Jamal al-Khattab, is playing a huge role in mobilizing the fighters.
According to the daily, one of the suicide bombers who struck the Iranian Embassy two weeks ago, Moein Abu Dahr, had received training in al-Taware before heading to Syria.
He later came back to Lebanon and targeted the embassy along with Adnan Mohammed, a Palestinian.