Lebanese football player arrested
for suspected terror links

A Lebanese football stadium.

BEIRUT – The Lebanese Armed Forces’ intelligence branch apprehended Zuhair Mrad on Wednesday, a player on the Racing Club Lebanon football team, for his suspected involvement in terrorist operations.


While an army statement stated that Mrad was arrested for his suspected role in terrorist acts, army intelligence stressed that it was not linked to the twin explosions that hit the Beirut area of Bir Hassan on Wednesday.


Sources told NOW that security members entered the Racing’s stadium where the team was holding practice and seized Mrad in front his fellow players, who were “shocked by the scene.”


The source also claimed that the player knew two weeks ago that he could be arrested but did not consider fleeing, and continued attending practice regularly.


He added that, despite the footballer’s long beard, Mrad was known among his colleagues as a religious moderate.


“Mrad is a shy, respectable man, who has never insulted or hurt anyone.”


Two explosions hit the Beirut neighborhood of Bir Hassan on Wednesday, killing six people and injuring over a hundred in the latest attack to target a suburb of the Lebanese capital.


The blasts took place by the Iranian Chancellery, near the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahiyeh, and were claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a jihadist group inspired by Al-Qaeda.

A Lebanese football stadium.

Mrad is a shy, respectable man, who has never insulted or hurt anyone.