Islamist preacher Omar Bakri arrested in Lebanon

AFP , Monday 26 May 2014

Radical Islamist preacher Omar Bakri, known for his support for Al-Qaeda, was arrested Sunday in Lebanon over his alleged involvement in sectarian clashes, security source told AFP.

Lebanese authorities has issued an arrest warrant for Bakri for involvement in unrest in the northern city of Tripoli but a month ago he fled to an unknown destination, the source said.

He was arrested Aley, east of Beirut, the source said, adding that he seemed to have moved from place to place to avoid arrest before being found by security forces.

He fled Tripoli in April when security forces deployed in numbers to the northern port to stop clashes between Sunni and Alawite Muslims living in the city linked to the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

Bakri lived in Britain for almost 20 years before settling in Lebanon in 2005 after he was banned from London under government curbs following the underground and bus bombings that year.

The Sunni Muslim preacher was sentenced in Lebanon to life in prison on a number of charges but freed on bail in 2010 pending a retrial, a judicial source said.

The Syrian-born cleric, who also holds Lebanese nationality, has denied he has any links to Al-Qaeda although he said he believed in "the same ideology."

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