Group behind Beirut bombing has fired rockets at Israel
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Group behind Beirut bombing has fired rockets at Israel

In 2012 interview, a fighter for the al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigade vowed to ‘fight both enemies’ — Israel and Hezbollah

Two Lebanese men react in front of burned cars, at the scene where two explosions have struck near the Iranian Embassy killing many, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday Nov. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Two Lebanese men react in front of burned cars, at the scene where two explosions have struck near the Iranian Embassy killing many, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday Nov. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

The Abdullah Azzam Brigade, the al-Qaeda-affiliated group that claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s deadly attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut, has threatened in the past to launch an offensive against Israel.

A representative of Ziad al-Jarrah, the Lebanese battalion of the Abdullah Azzam Brigade, stated in March 2012 the group’s aim to combat both Israel and Hezbollah, the latter due to its crime of “preventing Sunni Muslims from fighting against Israel” and therefore inadvertently guarding the Israeli borders from attack.

“We will fight both enemies: Israel, and the Shia Hezbollah which protects its borders,” an unidentified Abdullah Azzam brigade leader told the Arabic daily Al-Akhbar in March 2012.

The Abdullah Azzam brigade claimed responsibility for firing rockets into Israel in April 2011 and August 2013.

“The shelling is part of ongoing retaliation to the crimes committed by the Zionists who were known for killing prophets,” an official statement released by the group following the April 2011 attack read. “This will continue until the Palestinian land is liberated.”

In the Al-Akhbar interview, the official from the brigade admonished Al-Akhbar for misattributing a rocket attack in November 2011 to Abdullah Azzam, asserting that “any Muslim would take pride in targeting Israel. If we had done so, we would have declared it.”

Twenty-three people were killed and 146 were injured in a double suicide bombing outside the Iranian embassy on Tuesday. The Abdullah Azzam Brigade took credit for the attack via Twitter.

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