ABHA — According new information released by investigators, 10 percent of fighters enlisted by Fatah Al-Islam militant organization which faced off with the Lebanese army at Nahr Al-Bared, a Palestinian refugee camp run by UNRWA in north Lebanon, were Saudis, Al-Watan newspaper reported. The revelations come five years after the conflict ended.
Fighting began in May 2007 after a police raid on a house in Tripoli which was apparently being used by militants from Fatah Al-Islam. The militants subsequently began shooting at the Lebanese security forces, triggering the clashes. The fighting ended on Sept. 7, 2007, with the Lebanese army declaring victory.
Judge Ghasan Owaidat, who investigated the conflict, sought death sentence to some of the accused.
Of the 572 members of the organization, 62 were Saudi nationals. At least 27 Saudis were killed in the conflict, but the bodies of only 10 have been identified. Ten Saudis were arrested after the war, but four of them were released later. Arrest warrants have been issued against 25 others who were tried in absentia.
Saudi members played different roles ranging from coordinating with Al-Qaeda and recruiting new members to raising funds. Eight Saudis held leading positions in the organization while others were foot soldiers. — SG