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Lebanon Qaeda loyalists will 'continue striking Iran and Israel'

AFP , Tuesday 14 Jan 2014
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A Lebanese group loyal to Al-Qaeda vowed Tuesday to keep up its attacks against Iran, Hezbollah and Israel, less than a fortnight after the death of its leader, Majid al-Majid.

The Saudi-born Majid, which claimed responsibility for a November attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut, died after his arrest by Lebanese authorities.

"His project will continue, God willing, in striking Iran, its party (Hezbollah) and the aggressor Jews (Israel), and in defending oppressed Sunnis everywhere," the Abdallah Azzam Brigades said in an online statement.

The statement also lashed out against Lebanon for "arbitrarily detaining" Islamists, and said Lebanese miliary intelligence was under the control of "Iran's party," a reference to Shiite group Hezbollah.

It criticised "attacks against Sunnis orchestrated by Iran's party, which controls Lebanon's military intelligence and manipulates it at will."

It also said Iran "manipulates all Lebanese state institutions to protect both its interests and those of its Baathist ally in Syria," a reference to President Bashar al-Assad.

Majid died from poor health on 4 January, days after he was arrested, and his body was sent back to Saudi Arabia.

The November attack on the Iranian embassy in Hezbollah's southern Beirut stronghold killed 25 people.

It came as tensions rose in Lebanon over the role of the Iran-backed Hezbollah in neighbouring Syria's civil war.

Hezbollah has sent fighters to support Assad against the Sunni-dominated rebels, who are backed by most Lebanese Sunnis.

Brigades member Sirajeddin Zreikat had already threatened more attacks in Lebanon until Hezbollah ends its intervention.

In 2009, Lebanon handed Majid a life sentence in absentia after convicting him of membership of another Al-Qaeda-inspired group, Fatah al-Islam. 

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