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Lebanon 'holds' al-Qaeda linked group leader

Majid allegedly leads the group that claimed responsibility for the bombings that targeted Iran's embassy in Lebanon.

Last updated: 01 Jan 2014 11:25
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Majid is the leader of the group that claimed responsibility for the November 19 bombings in Beirut [Reuters]

A Saudi man who allegedly leads a group linked to al-Qaeda which operates throughout the Middle East has been arrested by military authorities in Lebanon, according to US national security sources.

Two US sources said that media reports from Lebanon that Lebanese Armed Forces had recently captured Majid bin Muhammad al-Majid, leader of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades were credible.

The sources did not offer further details on the circumstances in which he was captured.

Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the November 19 twin suicide bombings that targeted the Iranian embassy in Beirut. The explosions killed at least 23 people and left more than hundred injured. 

Lebanese media reported on Tuesday that Majid had been arrested two days ago.

One report said he had lived for years in a Palestinian refugee camp before leaving for Syria a month ago, where he allegedly pledged allegiance to the leader of the Nusrah Front, one of the most violent groups fighting to oust the government of President Bashar Assad.

Al Jazeera's Rula Amin in Beirut said Majid's was wanted by the Saudis and Americans and his arrest was a major achievement for the authorities in Lebanon. 

According to the Long War Journal, a respected counter-terrorism blog, Majid is among 85 individuals identified on a Saudi government list issued in 2009 as most wanted for their alleged involvement with al-Qaeda.

The Long War Journal said that the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, named after a founder of al Qaeda and associate of the late Osama bin Laden, were formed some time after 2005 as a spinoff of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The blog said the group's mission was to attack targets in Lebanon and elsewhere around the Middle East.

There have been several bomb attacks in Beirut and the northern city of Tripoli linked to the two-and-a-half-year conflict in neighbouring Syria.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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