Last Update 22:46
Thursday, 24 October 2019

US sending FBI team to help Lebanon probe blast

FBI team is to head to to Lebanon to assist in investigations over Beirut car bombing Friday that killed the country's internal security chief, in an attack that has been blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

AFP , Tuesday 23 Oct 2012
Views: 825
Views: 825

The United States will send a Federal Bureau of Investigation team to help Lebanon probe the Beirut car bombing that killed the country's internal security chief, officials said Monday.

But US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed Washington's support for Lebanon's sovereignty, in a phone call with Prime Minister Najib Mikati, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

"There is going to be an FBI team headed to Lebanon to help them with their investigation. But we'll certainly wait for the results of that investigation" before deciding any further response, he told reporters.

Describing Clinton's conversation with Mikati, he said "she was very, very clear in stressing our support for Lebanon's sovereignty" and also "stressed the importance of all political leaders working together."

He did not say whether the FBI team had already arrived in Lebanon, where there have been violent protests since Friday, when police intelligence chief General Wissam al-Hassan died in the Beirut bombing.

"It's a very sensitive time," he added, saying: "There's an investigation under way, and we're going to look to the results of that investigation. And we also would urge calm."

On Friday, the United States condemned the blast as a terrorist strike. And on Sunday, Clinton underscored "the United States' firm commitment to Lebanon's stability, independence, sovereignty and security."

On Monday, Lebanese troops deployed in Sunni areas of the capital, as fresh sectarian violence erupted, stoking stability fears after the bombing blamed on neighboring Syria.

Hassan's funeral on Sunday had been billed as a protest against Syrian meddling in Lebanon, but quickly turned into anger at Mikati, whose government is dominated by pro-Syria parties.

Despite calls for him to quit, Mikati said he would stay on at President Michel Sleiman's request to avoid a "political vacuum" in volatile Lebanon.

The opposition has widely blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for Friday's attack, as it did in 2005 when former premier Rafiq Hariri was killed in a huge Beirut blast.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.