Lebanese army arrests five more in connection with west Beirut attack plot
The Lebanese army clashed with the followers of radical cleric Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir in 2013. (AFP/File)
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The Lebanese army Thursday arrested an individual suspected of having links to a foiled suicide attack in Beirut.
A security source told The Daily Star that Radwan S. was arrested in the southern city of Sidon.
The arrest comes as part of a crackdown on individuals suspected of being involved with 25-year-old Lebanese would-be suicide bomber Omar Hasan Assi, who was arrested Saturday, minutes before he could carry out his planned attack.
The incident has prompted a series of raids targeting those loyal to radical preacher Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir.
Authorities now suspect that Assir’s followers are reorganizing.
Assi, reportedly a supporter of the notorious cleric, entered Costa Coffee in Beirut’s Hamra district late Saturday wearing an 8-kilogram, shrapnel-laden explosive belt.
Near-daily arrests have taken place around Sidon since Assi’s failed operation.
Assir loyalists clashed with the army in June 2013 in the town of Abra, near Sidon. Assir was arrested and he is currently standing trial for leading the attacks.
Assi is not believed to have participated in the 2013 clashes, but was injured during separate battles with Hezbollah’s Resistance Brigades. He is also said to have previously been a nurse for the Bilal bin-Rabah Mosque, where Assir was a preacher.