Assassins of Rafic Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, came from Iraq through Syria to carry out the attack, according to the Beirut judge leading the inquiry into the bombing.
Rachid Mezher, the senior investigator for the Lebanese military tribunal, was quoted as saying Sunday by the Telegraph paper that the organizers had been recruited from Islamist groups linked to Syria and operating against the US-led occupation in Iraq.
No firm ties with the Syrian regime have been established, according to Mezher. Investigators believe that a suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosives into the 60-year-old politician's convoy last Monday, killing him and 14 others. Judge Mezher said that a video in which a fanatic called Ahmed Abu Adas said the attack was the work of "Victory and Jihad in Greater Syria", an unknown group, was a genuine claim of responsibility.
Abu Adas, 23, a Palestinian Lebanese believed to have fled the country, attended two Beirut mosques known to be recruiting grounds for the Ansar al-Islam group, linked to the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Investigators suspect that the mosques have links to Sheikh Abderrazak, a Damascus cleric who has helped fighters travel through Syria to Iraq.
"We know that Adas had Saudi Arabian nationality and used his passport to travel to Iraq and Syria," said Judge Mezher. "The man converted to strict Muslim beliefs two years ago and returned to Lebanon only recently."