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Thursday, June 30, 2011

STL hands down indictments of Hezbollah members - one a US citizen

From Gulf News:
The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) probing the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri on Thursday issued its long-awaited indictment and accused four Hezbollah members of the murder, Lebanese officials and media said on Thursday.

"I will now examine the indictment and the warrants to take the appropriate measures," Lebanese prosecutor Saeed Mirza was quoted as telling reporters following a meeting with a three-member delegation from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
The Daily Star lists them:

Following are profiles of Lebanese reportedly mentioned in the indictment by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. An STL delegation met with Lebanon's state prosecutor Thursday, reportedly handing him a copy of the Lebanon portion of the indictment which includes four names.

Mustafa Badreddine

Mustafa Badreddine, the brother in-law of assassinated Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, is the prime suspect in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005. Badreddine replaced Mughniyeh as Hezbollah’s chief operations officer after he was killed in a mysterious explosion in Syria on Feb. 12, 2008. The 50-year old is a member of the Hezbollah Shura Council. He was arrested in Kuwait in 1990, broke out of prison and escaped to the Iranian Embassy in Kuwait, and Iran’s revolutionary guard escorted him to Lebanon.

Badreddine, also known as Elias Saab, who is a little older then Mughniyeh, was prior to the 1982 war with Israel in Lebanon an officer in the Palestinian Fatah elite “Force 17” in Beirut. He was the trainer of Mughniyeh in “Force 17” in sabotage and bombs construction. After Fatah was expelled from Beirut, in October of 1982, they joined together the newly formed Shiite militia - the “Oppressed on Earth” supported by Iran, which became soon the base for the Hezbollah.

Salim Ayyash

Salim Ayyash, 48, is accused of leading the cell which executed the assassination of Hariri. He holds a U.S. passport and is a volunteer with the Lebanon’s Civil Defense.

Asad Sabra

No information is available at this time

Hasan Ainessi

No information is available at this time
Ya Libnan adds:
Salim al-Ayyash , also known as “Abu Salim,” is one of the four suspects named by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in its indictment of Hezbollah members in the murder of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik hariri who was assassinated on feb 14, 2005 in Beirut

Ayyash 48, is reportedly a dual citizen . He was born in south Lebanon but also acquired a U.S. passport. Confirmed details of how he acquired US citizenship were not available .

Ayyash, is also a member of Hezbollah which the United States considers terrorist organization.

In addition to Ayyash 3 other Hezbollah members were indicted : Mustafa Badreddine, Hasan Aineysseh and Assad Sabra .

While Badreddine appears to be the prime suspect for masterminding the assassination of Hariri , Ayyash is reportedly accused of leading the cell which executed the assassination. Ayyash was reportedly helped by Hassan Aineysseh and Assad Sabra in Hariri’s murder.

Ayyash is considered a hero in Hezbollah party circles for his role in the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, when he was among the leaders who helped repel the Israeli advance across southern Lebanon.