TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Lebanese Interior Ministry confirmed the involvement of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, in a recent assassination attempt targeting a member of the Palestinian Resistance Movement, Hamas, in the southern city of Sidon.
One of the main suspects involved in the crime admitted to being assigned by Israel’s Mossad, a statement from Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk’s office said Friday.
“Advanced means of communication were seized from his residence as well as correspondence between him and his recruiters,” it said, according to the Daily Star.
The statement was referring to a car bomb targeting Mohammad Hamdan on Jan. 14 in Sidon. Hamdan escaped with minor wounds after the half-kilogram bomb planted on his car detonated.
“(The Internal Security Forces’) Information Branch has concluded its investigation and it has a full scenario with the facts, names and the roles (played),” the statement said.
Machnouk said Turkey had handed over a suspect in the bombing to Lebanese authorities earlier this week, after widespread reports some of those involved in the network fled to the country. A security source identified the suspect as M.H. and the state-run National News Agency reported his name as Mohammad Youssef al-Hajjar.
A prime suspect in the case is believed to have the surname Beitiye, although reports vary regarding his given name. A security source told The Daily Star that he had been identified as Ahmad Beitiye. He reportedly left Lebanon for Amsterdam after carrying out the attack.
The ministry statement also rejected reports implying that Arab intelligence agencies were behind the attack.
“Attempts by some (of the press) to point out the possibility that Arab intelligence agencies were behind this operation are totally false. In addition, such untrue accusations harm Lebanon’s relationship with Arab nations and this is something that Lebanon doesn’t need, especially these days,” the statement said.
Machnouk’s press office also touched on accusations that the ISF Information Branch was acting without having jurisdiction to do so.
It said that whenever the country witnesses a terrorist act, the Military Public Prosecution requests all security agencies to carry out the necessary investigations.
“Hence, the Information Branch’s investigation in this crime (targeting Hamdan) falls within its work and duties.”