Al-Nusra Front entered Lebanon
to “protect its Sunnis”

Jawlani interview

BEIRUT - Al-Nusra Front leader Abou Mohammed al-Jawlani said that the Al-Qaeda-linked organization is active on Lebanese soil in order to help the Sunnis of the country face the “injustice” of Shiite Hezbollah.


“Lebanon’s Sunnis… are requesting that the mujahideen intervene to lift up the injustice they are suffering from at the hands of Hezbollah and similar militias,” Jawlani said in an interview on Al-Jazeera television on Thursday.


The radical official said that the Al-Nusra Front entered Lebanon after Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah declared in May that his party was fighting alongside the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


“We were looking for an [excuse] to enter in order to protect Lebanon’s Sunnis from the [violence] of Hezbollah. When [the latter] disclosed his involvement [in the Syrian war], he opened the door wide for us to enter Lebanon and wake the Sunnis up.”


Jawlani went on to describe this declaration as an act of “political stupidity.”


The Al-Nusra Front leader’s interview aired two days after a car bomb exploded near a Hezbollah position outside the town of Labwe in the Beqaa Valley, causing casualties.


Later that day the Marwan Hadid Brigades claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Hermel, saying it fired ten Grad rockets at the Beqaa town along with the "Al-Nusra Front of Lebanon."


The car bomb blast occurred to the west of Syria’s Qalamoun border region where Bashar al-Assad regime forces and Hezbollah fighters have battled Syrian rebels since mid-November.


Nasrallah and his party’s media outlets have warned that groups in Qalamoun have been dispatching explosive-laden cars to Lebanon.


Shiite-populated areas across Lebanon have been the target of terror attacks since Hezbollah declared it was fighting on the side of the Syrian regime in May. 


Three car bomb attacks have targeted southern Beirut in recent months while a number of IED attacks have occurred in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley.

An Al-Jazeera reporter speaks with Al-Nusra Front leader Abou Mohammed al-Jawlani. (Al-Jazeer)

We were looking for an [excuse] to enter in order to protect Lebanon’s Sunnis from the [violence] of Hezbollah.