Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Murr's murder attempt plotted at Ain El Helweh Palestinian camp

For those whose Arabic is weak... an English summary..

Murr's murder attempt plotted at Ain El Helweh Palestinian camp

The assassination attempt that targeted Lebanon's Defense Minister Elias Murr was plotted by a Palestinian and a Syrian Kurd at Sidon's refugee camp of Ein El-Hilweh, the local media said Wednesday, splashing, too, a personal assertion Murr made from his hospital bed that he holds Lebanon's State Security apparatus responsible for "any security action endangering me."

"I had information since March of an attempt being hatched on my life," Murr told Beirut's Future-TV network in an interview recorded at Serhal hospital shortly after he came out from a 4-hour surgery to treat wounds he suffered from a car-bomb assassination attempt Tuesday.

"I had to send a letter a week ago from now to the military prosecution department telling of the information I had received by chance, which was possessed by the State Security apparatus. I held this apparatus responsible for security action that puts me in danger," Murr said in a steady voice.

Future-TV's specialized researcher Fares Khashan produced late night Tuesday an 'intelligence document' from Lebanon's State Security apparatus containing accurate information about meetings held in Ein El Hilweh in which Palestinian and Syrian conferees debated plans to assassinate Murr.

The document, attributed to a "very reliable source" by the State Security apparatus spoke of assassination-connected meetings held at the Ein El Hilweh house of Abu Hammam, a Palestinian, in the presence of a former Kurdish Syrian army soldier identified only by his first name of Jassem.

"The conspirators used an enlarged map of the Mt. Lebanon region and underlined the road to Murr's house where a car-bomb will be planted for the assassination," the Khashan document said.

It asserted that Abu Hammam and Jassem smuggled high-powered C-4 explosives, the type used in Rafik Hariri's assassination, from Jordan via Syria a week before he was murdered Feb. 14.

Khashan said Murr had passed to him the document of the State Security apparatus and asked him to release it "only if and when I am targeted by assassins." Murr gave Khashan the document during a dinner in March attended by Marwan Hamadeh and other political figures, Khashan said.

Chief U.N. investigator into Hariri's murder, Detlev Mehlis, recently asked Syria, Jordan and Israel for information on the movements of certain persons and the customs records of certain shipments. The dramatic revelations Tuesday suggest Mehlis may be tracking down Abu Hammam and Jassem along with the way they used to smuggle the C-4 explosives to Lebanon. (Naharnet)


Anonymous said...

The story sounds a bit "weak" to me. Perhaps they were just the messengers, i.e. asked to smuggle the C-4, but they are not necessarily behind the plot.

Doha said...

Of course they are the messengers. But getting a hold of these people will lead the investigators somewhere.

Firas said...

I agree...yet the english version misses out on lots of the details.. the arabic version has the details of the official Lebanese intel document.. this inculdes further information on the map used and details on how things were marked in Murr's neighborhood...

That said, the two suspects are unlikely to have acted alone... this is just the tip of the intel must look at the intel apparatus behind them...

Doha said...

Okay, I'll volunteer translating the specific map details that Firas said were not mentioned in the English translation:

The "reliable" source says that a map of Mount Lebanon was relied on (1/50,000). The focus was on the Rabieh area. On this map the following were marked:

The coloring of a main road (written on it "going up"). At the end of the road there is a gas station, after 50 meters, there is a right turn (on that turn, a Turkish flag is drawn). Going up, there is another sign of a garbage disposal drawn and right after this sign there is a German flag marked and facing it is a parking lot, next to the lot an (*) sign was marked.

After conducting preliminary investigations, the (*) sign highlights a point where a specific mission was planned to be conducted.

So...the German and Turkish flags are of the respective embassies? It seems that they were planning bombing an area to send one more than one message...

Acrobat said...

"So...the German and Turkish flags are of the respective embassies? It seems that they were planning bombing an area to send one more than one message..."

er, this is reading slightly too much into it. the area is full of embassies (i know it quite well since my parents live there), and these were just landmarks.

the 1/50,000 scale is odd though, it shows too little detail to be very specific. i would imagine planning the exact location for such an operation to require a 1/2000 scale plan at least. but then again, we don't know what else was at that meeting.

Acrobat said...

btw, isn't Aoun's house just around the corner from the bomb? is that even more messages there?

Anonymous said...

What information could Israel provide?