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NOW

Suicide bomber targets Dahr
al-Baydar ISF checkpoint

The site of Friday
The site of Friday
The site of Friday

BEIRUT - A suicide bomber targeted an Internal Security Forces checkpoint in the Beqaa area of Dahr al-Baydar on Friday in an apparent assassination attempt against General Security Director General Abbas Ibrahim.

“The bomb exploded the moment the car I was driving passed [the checkpoint], moments after my escort passed,” Ibrahim told Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed television.

 

The explosion killed one ISF member identified as Mahmoud Jamaleddine and injured 32 people.

 

Ibrahim escaped from the explosion unharmed, and although there is no direct information proving that he was the target of the attack there have been several reports that he would be the target of an assassination attempt.

 

Ibrahim linked the car bomb to the arrests carried out earlier in the day in Beirut’s Hamra and neighboring areas.

 

“All the incidents that took place today, from the Dahr al-Baydar [explosion] to the Beirut [arrests], are connected.”

 

Members of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces arrested on Friday 102 people in Beirut’s Hamra Street and neighboring areas following reports of terror plots targeting an Amal Movement conference and General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim.

 

85 people were subsequently released, while 17 remain in custody for further investigations, the ISF said in a statement. 

 

Conflicting reports emerged concerning the alleged target of the car bomb, as ISF chief Major General Ibrahim Basbous claimed that the explosives-rigged car was destined to detonate in Beirut.

 

“The car was headed from the Beqaa to Beirut. ISF patrols chased it, compelling its driver to return to the Beqaa,” Basbous said on Friday from the scene of the explosion.

 

He further explained that the members at the Dahr al-Baydar checkpoint were informed of the arrival of a suspicious car, and they took the necessary measures.

 

“When the car arrived, the members tried to stop it and search it, but the driver blew himself up,” the ISF chief added.

 

Later on Friday, the National News Agency reported that an ID card bearing the name Tariq Lutfi al-Jebawi was found inside the car used in the bombing.

 

However, Basbous explained that the driver’s license that was found in the car belonged to a man who had been arrested and who “has nothing to do with the explosion.”

 

The Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack later in the day, and said that they “will hit the target [of the suicide operation] missed today, later.”

 

Earlier Friday, a minister who spoke to NOW on condition of anonymity linked today’s cancellation of an Amal conference at the UNESCO building with earlier reports of a plot by extremists to assassinate Speaker Nabih Berri and Major Ibrahim.

 

On Friday morning Lebanese daily An-Nahar reported that an Israeli/Lebanese journalist had acquired a Mossad intelligence document suggesting that Ibrahim would be the target of a car bombing, planned in Sidon’s Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp by the jihadist militant group the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.


After the explosion, Health Minister Wael Abu Faour ordered all hospitals to receive people wounded in the bombing and treat them at the ministry’s expense.

 

The Interior Ministry announced that six ISF members were among the injured.

Lebanon’s General Security closed the Dahr al-Baydar highway in both directions and has asked citizens not to use the road until investigations are completed.

The site of Friday's suicide bombing in Dahr al-Baydar.

The bomb exploded the moment the car I was driving past [the checkpoint], moments after my escort passed.