The gunman who fired on the US embassy in Beirut last week was a delivery driver seeking revenge for his perceived humiliation by security personnel, Lebanese police alleged on Thursday.
There were no casualties in the September 20 shooting against the embassy entrance, but it revived memories of deadly attacks in the 1980s that prompted the embassy’s relocation from the city center to the northern suburb of Awkar.
The internal security forces said they had arrested the 26-year-old delivery driver in Beirut’s southern suburbs on Monday.
They alleged the suspect later told them that two months earlier, when he delivered food to the embassy, he “was humiliated by a member of the security personnel, so he… decided to take revenge.”
He said he had taken a back road that allowed him to reach the embassy complex armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, without passing through a nearby Lebanese army checkpoint, the police statement alleged.
A military court has begun investigating the shooting, a judicial official previously told AFP. A security official said the gunman fired 15 bullets at the embassy doors, leaving behind a bag full of ammunition.
The shooting coincided with the anniversary of a deadly 1984 car bombing outside the US embassy annex in Beirut, which the United States blamed on the Iran-backed Shiite terror group Hezbollah.
The embassy relocated to Awkar after it was struck by a suicide attack that killed 63 people the previous year.
US diplomatic and military missions in Lebanon were attacked multiple times during the 1975-1990 civil war, when Islamist terrorists also took several US citizens hostage.