Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Collateral Damage of Lebanese Sovereignty

by Jim Quilty of Middle East Report Online

Syrian officials and their allies in Lebanon label Fatah al-Islam as al-Qaeda operatives. It is not an imaginative accusation. Though Fatah al-Islam has denied any institutional links to al-Qaeda, the global Sunni militancy ‘Absi advocates echoes that of al-Qaeda and Fatah al-Islam’s statements have appeared on salafi websites. In a Reuters interview in March, ‘Absi said Fatah al-Islam wanted to implement shari‘a law among Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee community before confronting Israel. The Saudi-owned al-‘Arabiyya channel has advanced a theory that ‘Absi is just the front man for an even murkier cabal of multinational Islamist conspirators including one ‘Abd al-Karim al-Saadi, aka “Abu Muhjin.” This fierce-looking Palestinian bogeyman was cast as the mastermind behind the criminal activities of the Lebanese-Palestinian salafi group ‘Usbat al-Ansar before disappearing into the “security island” of ‘Ayn al-Hilwa.

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