Reports: Seven Fatah al-Islam Members Escape from Ain el-Hilweh

Posted on: May 17, 2012 at 23:46
Conflicting reports have emerged over the escape of seven Fatah al-Islam members from the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, reported Voice of Lebanon radio on Thursday.

An informed security source from the South stated that leading member Toufic Taha is among them.

It remains unclear where the fugitives escaped to, but it has been speculated that they may have headed to Syria.

A Palestinian source identified the six other Fatah Islam members as Haitham al-Shaabi, Mohammed al-Aarfi, Ziad Abou al-Niaaj, Mohammed Ibrahim al-Mansour, and Oussama Shehabi.

An expanded meeting for Fatah members and the representative of the Palestinian Authority in Lebanon Azzam al-Ahmed was promptly held at the Palestinian Embassy in Beirut as soon as the news of the escape broke out.

The Lebanese army had recently uncovered a takfiri network within its ranks, which was planning on carrying out attacks against army barracks and centers.

Taha has been found to be the head of the network.

Al-Joumhouria newspaper reported in March that Taha is one of the most active members of al-Qaida in Lebanon and he is also in constant internet contact with al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri from whom he receives orders and directions.
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