On Twitter, al-Assir's arrest brings musings about plastic surgery and Nic Cage
The hard-line cleric was arrested at the Rafik Hariri International Airport over the weekend, and Twitter can't help pointing out a curious resemblance. (AFP/File)
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Lebanese authorities arrested Sunni hard-line cleric Ahmad al-Assir over the weekend, ending a year-long manhunt following a deadly shootout with Lebanese security forces.
Assir is wanted for a 2013 incident in one of his mosques in southern city of Sidon, where 12 Lebanese soldiers were killed during a raid on mosque in the southern city of Sidon that belonged to him. A military judge recommended the death sentence for Assir and 53 of his affiliates in 2014.
He was detained at the Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut on Saturday, carrying a forged passport and sporting a shaved face. Security sources told Al Jazeera he was headed for Egypt.
But it wasn’t just his facial hair. Purportedly the product of extensive plastic surgery, Assir’s disguise was so convincing, Lebanese authorities are administering a DNA test to confirm his identity.
The transformation also prompted a pretty entertaining Twitter storm, with social media users pointing out an uncanny resemblance between Assir's shaved, surgery-altered face, and American actor Nicolas Cage.
Naturally, and as with things Nick Cage related, Twitter delivered plenty of good material for the rest of the Internet to enjoy. Have a look at the best ones below.
Ahmad Al Assir's reaction when he was identified by security pic.twitter.com/SMH6d5IKJO— Fatima (@fatimamahmouud) August 15, 2015
Oh man, here's hoping the authorities release photos of Ahmed Assir's "modified appearance" at Beirut airport. http://t.co/e0DEJGGhRJ— DavidKenner (@DavidKenner) August 15, 2015
And one more, in case you forgot what the real Nic looks like in action. See a resemblance?