New Information Revealed About Al-Qaeda Cell Allegedly Involved in the Hariri Murder

Posted: February 13, 2006 in International, Politics

From Talisman

This is an important scoop published today by the Lebanese daily Addiyar (February 11, 2006, 18th Year, Issue No. 6182, edited by Charl Ayoub, an ex-officer seen as close to the Syrians). It broadly follows what I discussed here on Talisman Gate a few days ago, although Addiyar fleshes out the skeletal information with names, dates and time-lines. The story carries Simon Abu Fadhil’s byline, and in translating it I have tried to stay as close to the Arabic wording and sentence structure as possible, even though it becomes somewhat of a clunky read.The chief points revolve around the notion that this group was somehow involved in the Hariri assassination through the association of one of its leaders, Khalid Taha (still at large), with the suspected suicide bomber, Ahmad Tayseer Abu Ades. One of its members is a Syrian neurosurgeon, while others have had fighting experience in Iraq. I think there is more to this story that will begin to be revealed over the course of the next few weeks. My own hypothesis is that this group was just one of four involved in pulling off the Hariri assassination, and their prime task was in picking and handling the suicide bomber, Abu Ades, and preparing the media package of him taking credit for the crime, thus I’d refer to them as the “Spotters and Handlers”. The other groups would have been respectively responsible for information gathering (general data about the Hariri convoy, his security detail, his usual routes…etc), ‘close’ surveillance (these would be the guys with the 6 cell phones tracking Hariri on the day of the assassination), and logistics (these provide safe houses, access to explosives, the stolen vehicle, rigging the car bomb, as well as covering tracks). Given the usual messiness that accompanies such big operations, it is possible that at some points there was overlap between the various groups, such as some of the “Spotters and Handlers” getting a peak at how the car bomb was prepared and where it was stored.

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