Palestinians in Lebanon Expel Saudi Extremists

[Daily Star-Lebanon] Today, the most immediate security threat to the lives of the Sunni Palestinian refugees in Lebanon comes not from Israel but from Arabs living within their own refugee camps. In the northern camp of Nahr al-Bared, lax security from the mainstream secular Palestinian faction Fatah provided a suitable environment for the rise of Fatah al-Islam. The Al-Qaeda-styled Sunni extremist group comprises some Lebanese and Palestinians, but is also made up of foreign Arabs, including veteran jihadis from Iraq, and fighters from Saudi Arabia who follow the Wahhabi ideology of takfiri, which condemns to death anyone who does not follow their austere form of Islam. In Ain al-Hilweh, several thousand armed militants vie for control in the tiny 1.5 square-kilometer cinder block camp. Sheikh Haj Maher Oweid, military commander of the Palestinian Islamist group Ansar Allah, said that dozens of Saudi extremists had been expelled from Ain al-Hilweh over the past year. "There were many Saudis expelled from here. They are connected to al-Qaeda and they want to spread chaos. Lebanon is now the new front for al-Qaeda," he said.

2007-08-09 01:00:00

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