A commander of a group loyal to Al Qaeda was arrested by the Lebanese army on Wednesday, according to an army statement.
The commander, Najm Abbas, is of the Abdallah Azzam brigades , the jihadist group which claimed a twin suicide attack against the Iranian Embassy in Beirut last November, killing 25 people. "After careful follow-up and monitoring, the (army) intelligence directorate in Beirut arrested the terrorist Naim Abbas, a commander of the Abdallah Azzam brigades ," the army said in the statement, according to Agence France-Presse.
Shortly after the arrest, the National News Agency said soldiers were defusing a car bomb in a western neighborhood of the capital Beirut. The Abdallah Azzam Brigades, which describes itself as loyal to Al Qaeda, has been listed by the United States as a terrorist organization since 2009. In January, the army announced the arrest of its Saudi leader Majid Al Majid , who died days later from poor health. Abbas' detention also follows the indictment of a Sunni Muslim sheikh, Omar Ibrahim Al Atrash,  in connection with two suicide bombings in southern Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold, that killed at least six people. In a late January army statement on Atrash, the army had said Abbas was among three "wanted men" loyal to the Abdallah Azzam brigades and Al Nusra Front , Syria's Al Qaeda branch. In recent months, Lebanon has seen a string of deadly attacks linked to Syria's war, claimed by Al Qaeda-linked groups including the Abdallah Azzam brigades.