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January 26, 2008
Suspects aplenty in Beirut Car Bomb
There are no lack of suspects in the car bomb blast that killed one of the top anti-terrorist investigators in Lebanon, Captain Wissam Eid. In addition to the Syrian security services, there are also several groups who may be working with Assad's henchmen including some Sunni terrorists loosely affiliated with al-Qaeda:
So who killed Eid? Neighboring Syria seeking to re-impose its grip on Lebanon? Al-Qaeda-related groups attempting to destabilize Lebanon? A combination of the two, perhaps? Such speculation angers Beirut Spring writer Mustapha:
Furthermore, Western intelligence sources tell TIME that Al-Saadi Nahed, a Saudi extremist and veteran of the insurgency in Iraq, has been appointed "emir" for al-Qaeda in Lebanon. Nahed, who, according to intelligence sources, arrived in Lebanon earlier this month, has replaced Fahd al-Mughamis, who was arrested last June in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley along with other members of his cell while plotting to carry out bombings.
Last month, an indictment against Mughamis stated that he was al-Qaeda's coordinator for Lebanon, Jordan and Syria and that his cell had been trained by Esbat al-Ansar, a jihadist faction based in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in south Lebanon. "Bin Laden's statement seems to have heralded an al-Qaeda resurgence here," said Amal Saad-Ghorayeb of the Carnegie Endowment's Middle East Center in Beirut. "There is a logical correlation between these recent [bomb] incidents and this latest one [Eid's assassination] related to al-Qaeda activity."
"The most insulting analysis one can come across is that Alqaeda is doing it. Those bearded idiots are definitely not the ones who read in today's newspaper that progress is being made in the international Tribunal, and then decided to eliminate an obscure key official in charge of sensitive data as a warning.And David Kenner, an American living and writing in Beirut, is riled at the suggestion by the Lebanese opposition that the assassination was carried out by pro-government forces to make Syria look bad:
The people who keep peddling the "they're killing their own to discredit Syria!" line rarely give the impression that they're arguing in earnest, so it's hard to summon the energy to hit back at them. I suppose they continue with it because they're called on to say something, and it's not pleasant to admit that one is allied with murderers. Three March 14 MPs have been killed in the past year. Eid was the second ISF investigator to be targeted -- an attack in September 2006 wounded Col. Samir Shehadeh, who was also involved in the Hariri investigation. When the bomb exploded next to Captain Eid, which is the more logical conclusion: that the attack is part of some nefarious public relations scheme, or that someone wants him dead?To which there is no logical response from the Syrian apologists. That's because it is not about logic but about intimidation and power. Hezb'allah leader Hassan Nasrallah could say Elvis did it and his followers would declare that all the evidence points to a plot involving Elvis Presley. No one cares about the truth at this point which is why things are slowly spinning out of control.
With the Hezb'allah led opposition now entering a whole new phase of their campaign to put pressure on the government to bend to their will, these killings will continue to serve the purpose of intimidating Syrian opponents while allowing Syria to slowly win a war of attrition against the pro-democracy forces in Lebanon.