Al-Qaeda's chief in Lebanon Majid al-Majid dies in custody

Publié le par BBC News

BBC Newspublished 04/01/2013 at 14:36 GMT

Majid al-Majid, al-Qaeda's commander in Lebanon, has died in custody in a Beirut hospital, Lebanon's army says.

Majid al-Majid

Majid al-Majid was named as the Abdullah Azzam Brigades' leader in 2012


The Saudi, who led the Abdullah Azzam Brigades and was on Saudi Arabia's most-wanted-terrorists list, was arrested in Lebanon recently.

An army general told Associated Press the militant died of kidney failure.

The group has carried out attacks across the Middle East and claimed a bomb attack on Iran's Beirut embassy in November that killed 23 people.

The Iranian cultural attache was among the dead.

A Lebanese army statement said Majid al-Majid died in a military hospital in Beirut on Saturday, as he was receiving medical treatment.

Security sources said he had gone into a coma suffering from kidney failure.

He was believed to have required dialysis for the condition.

It was only on Friday that the Lebanese authorities said that DNA tests had confirmed his identity.

Defence Minister Fayez Ghosn earlier confirmed the commander was being held by army intelligence in Beirut and was "being interrogated in secret". He refused to say when and how the arrest took place.

However, a Lebanese security source told the Reuters news agency that he had been captured with another Saudi militant and had been living in the southern city of Sidon.

Majid al-Majid had led the Brigades since 2012.

Based in both Lebanon and the Arabian Peninsula, the group is named after a Palestinian jihadist ideologue who recruited mujahideen for the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The group has attracted hardline Islamist militants who fought in the Iraqi insurgency and has based itself in the Ein el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, near Sidon.

The US designated the group a terrorist organisation in 2012, freezing its assets.

November's Iranian embassy bombing was believed to be its first major attack.

Iran and the Hezbollah militant group are allied with the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Media reports said Majid al-Majid had pledged allegiance to the leader of the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate seeking to overthrow President Assad.

After the Iran embassy bombing, a Salafist cleric close to the Brigades warned attacks would continue in Lebanon until Iranian and Hezbollah forces stopped fighting alongside government forces in Syria, and the Sunni group's prisoners were released in Lebanon.

Abdullah Azzam Brigades

Carine Torbey

Carine Torbey BBC Arabic, Beirut

  • Based in Lebanon and the Arabian Peninsula
  • Formed in 2009, according to US, but name used to claim attacks in Egypt in 2004 and 2005
  • Saudi wing claimed 2010 attack on Japanese oil tanker off the coast of Oman
  • Lebanese wing behind occasional rocket fire against Israel since 2009, but not believed to have carried out a major attack until embassy bombing
  • Led since 2012 by Majid al-Majid, a Saudi citizen named on the kingdom's most-wanted list

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