Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Fatah al-Islam

Fatah al-Islam

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Fatah al-Islam'
Start a new discussion about 'Fatah al-Islam'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Fatah al-Islam, is a radical Sunni Islamist group that formed in November 2006 in a Palestinian refugee camp, located in Lebanon. It has been described as a militant jihadist
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

 movement that draws inspiration from al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

. It became very well known in May 2007 and June 2007 after engaging in combat against the Lebanese Army in the Nahr al-Bared
Nahr al-Bared
Nahr al-Bared is a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon, 16 km from the city of Tripoli. Some 30,000 displaced Palestinians and their descendents live in and around the camp, which was named after the river that runs south of the camp...

 UNRWA Palestinian refugee camp. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Department of State classified the group as a terrorist organization
U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations
"Foreign Terrorist Organization" is a designation of non-United States-based organizations declared terrorist by the United States Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act...

 on August 9, 2007 but it was not classified as such anymore on November 24, 2010.

Origins


Fatah al-Islam was led by a fugitive militant named Shaker al-Abssi
Shaker al-Abssi
Shaker al-Abssi was a veteran Palestinian guerrilla and Fatah al-Islam's leader. On 10 December, 2008 Fatah al-Islam announced that al-Abssi was believed to have been killed or arrested in ambush by Syrian security forces.- Biography :...

, a Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

 who was born in Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

 in 1955. Al-Abssi was once a pilot with the rank of colonel.

Al-Abssi's first militant activities can be traced to connections he established with a secular Palestinian militant group named Fatah al-Intifada
Fatah al-Intifada
Fatah al-Intifada is a Palestinian militant faction founded by Col. Said al-Muragha, better known as 'Abu Musa'. The group is often referred to as the 'Abu Musa Faction'...

 in Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, after it defected from the umbrella Fateh
Fateh
Fateh may refer to:Language* PunJaBi/Urdu Fateh meaning ViCtoryPlaces, Political groups and Masjids* Fatah, a Palestinian political affiliation* Fateh Oil Field, a prominent oil-producing area in the Persian Gulf near Dubai.* Fateh-110, a missile...

 movement in 1983. From Libya, al-Abssi reportedly moved to Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, where he made close ties with Fatah al-Intifada's number two in command, Abu Khaled al-Omla.

Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n authorities arrested al-Abssi in 2000 and sentenced him to three years in prison on charges of smuggling weapons and ammunition between Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. The government later released him. He went to Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and fought alongside groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda. He is said to have become friends with a number of Al-Qaeda leaders there.

In 2004 Al-Abssi was sentenced to death in absentia by a Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

ian military court for involvement in the assassination of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley
Laurence Foley
Laurence Michael Foley, Sr. was an American diplomat assassinated outside his home in Amman, Jordan....

, after Syrian authorities refused to extradite him for trial. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ; October 30, 1966 – June 7, 2006), born Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh was a Jordanian militant Islamist who ran a paramilitary training camp in Afghanistan...

 was also sentenced to death for the killing of Foley and was thought to have been an associate of Al-Abssi.

He briefly returned to Syria, where he met again with al-Omla, who helped him relocate to Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. Al-Abssi and a group of youth he met in Iraq set themselves up in the headquarters of Fatah Al-Intifada in the village of Helwa in the Western Beqaa District
Western Beqaa District
Western Beqaa District is an administrative district in the Beqaa Governorate of the Republic of Lebanon. The capital is Joub Jannine....

 in 2005. In May 2006, Al-Abssi and this small group engaged in armed clashes with Lebanese soldiers that led to the killing of one young Syrian wanted by Damascus for fighting in Iraq.

Syrian intelligence services then summoned al-Omla to ask him about al-Abssi and his group. The investigation unmasked the close coordination between al-Omla and al-Abssi that had been kept from the pro-Damascus Secretary General of Fatah Al-Intifada, Abu Moussa, and by extension, from the Syrian authorities.

Al-Omla then reportedly ordered al-Abssi to leave the Western Beqaa, which is close to the borders with Syria, and head for refugee camps in northern Lebanon.

In November 2006 the Palestinian security committee in Al-Badawi
Al-Badawi
The surname al-Badawi can refer to:*Ahmad al-Badawi, a Muslim saint*Jamal al-Bedawi, also written Jamal al-Badawi, a contemporary Yemeni accused and convicted of planning the USS Cole Bombing*Jamal Badawi, Egyptian-born Canadian professor and author...

 refugee camp in Tripoli handed over two members of al-Abssi's group to Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 military intelligence. Al-Abssi was reportedly infuriated and decided to break with Fatah al-Intifada and establish his own group, Fatah al-Islam.

In November 2006 Fatah al-Islam set up a headquarters in the Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

 camp of Nahr al-Bared
Nahr al-Bared
Nahr al-Bared is a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon, 16 km from the city of Tripoli. Some 30,000 displaced Palestinians and their descendents live in and around the camp, which was named after the river that runs south of the camp...

 in northern Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. The group seized three compounds in the camp that had belonged to the secular Palestinian militant group, Fatah al-Intifada. Al-Abssi then issued a declaration saying he was bringing religion back to the Palestinian cause.

In March 2007 Seymour Hersh
Seymour Hersh
Seymour Myron Hersh is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author based in Washington, D.C. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine on military and security matters...

, investigative reporter for New Yorker magazine, suggested that the Lebanese government was giving support to Fatah al-Islam, in order to defeat Hezbollah. Independently, Dr. Franklin Lamb, a researcher at the American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

, a Hezbollah expert and the author of "Hezbollah: A Brief Guide for Beginners," made similar allegations. He claimed that David Welch, Assistant to Secretary of State, negotiated with the Saudis and Saad Hariri
Saad Hariri
Saad-eddine Rafiq Al-Hariri is a Saudi-Lebanese billionaire who served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 2009 until 2011. He is the second son of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister who was assassinated in 2005...

 of the American-backed Siniora government to funnel aid to Fatah al-Islam, so that the Sunni group could eventually attack Shiite Hezbollah.

But Michael Young, a writer for Reason Magazine, casted doubts on Seymour Hersh's claims. Additionally, Professor Barry Rubin, Director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center, has alleged that Al-Abssi is in fact a Syrian operative engaged in destabilizing the government of Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

.

In November 2008, Hussain Abdul-Hussain
Hussain Abdul-Hussain
Hussain Abdul-Hussain is a journalist and expert on the Middle East. He currently works as a correspondent with the Kuwaiti daily Al Rai and lives in Washington DC.-Biography:...

, a Washington journalist, questioned Hersh's credibility arguing that the American journalist had frequently assigned dates for an American attack on Iran, which never took place. In past stories, Hersh published information that he later corrected. In an article published in NOW Lebanon, Abdul-Hussain also questioned Hersh's links to known Syrian proteges in Lebanon, such as former Information Minister Michel Samaha.

Other indications that Fatah al-Islam, and specifically Fatah Al-Islam leader Shaker Al-Abssi, may have Syrian support come from Samir Geagea
Samir Geagea
Samir Farid Geagea , born October 25, 1952, is a Lebanese politician. He is also a senior figure in the March 14 Alliance, alongside Saad Hariri and Amine Gemayel....

, executive body chairman of the Lebanese Forces, who asked why
if anyone is found out to be a Muslim Brotherhood activist, he receives a death sentence, and if he is very lucky, he gets hard labor. So how come Shaker Al-'Absi - who is no ordinary militant but a leader... and who committed a crime in Jordan and was sentenced to death there, and was arrested in Syria - has been released [from prison]?

Membership


The official spokesman for Fatah al-Islam is Abu Salim Taha. Fatah al-Islam supposedly has more than 150 armed fighters in the Nahr el-Bared camp. The group allegedly has about more than half a dozen Palestinian members. The bulk of its membership is said to made up of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

ns, Saudis, and other Arab Jihadists who had fought in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, as well as approximately 50 Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 extremist Sunnis.

The Syrian ambassador said the leaders of the group were mostly Palestinians, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

ians, or Saudis, and that perhaps a "couple of them" were Syrians.

The pro-Saudi Al Hayat newspaper reports that Fatah al-Islam has close ties to Syria, and that much of the leadership of Fatah al-Islam is made up of Syrian officers.

Ideology


According to Reuters
Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

, Fatah al-Islam's primary goals are to institute Islamic law in Palestinian refugee camps and to target Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

.

Several news organizations have suggested that Fatah al-Islam has connections to al-Qaeda. Some reports even claim Fatah al-Islam is part of the al-Qaeda network. Abssi has stated that the group has no organization ties to al-Qaeda, "but agrees with its aim of fighting infidels." Fatah al-Islam statements have appeared on Islamist Web sites known to publish al-Qaeda statements.

Syria's ambassador Bashar Ja'afari, responding to Lebanese claims that Syria is a sponsor of Fatah al-Islam, told Reuters that several of the organization's members had been jailed for three or four years in Syria for connections to al-Qaeda, and that upon their release they had left the country. Ja'afari also said that, "If they come to Syria, they will be jailed," and that, "They are not fighting on behalf of the Palestinian cause. They are fighting on behalf of al Qaeda.".

On May 23, 2007 the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 issued a statement "strongly condemn[ing] the criminal and terrorist acts carried out by the terrorist group known as Fatah al-Islam," adding that the group has "no relation to the Palestinian question or Islam."

In an interview on CNN International
CNN International
CNN International is an international English language television network that carries news, current affairs, politics, opinions, and business programming worldwide. CNN is one of the world's largest news organizations. It is owned by Time Warner, and is affiliated with CNN, which is mainly...

's "Your World Today," Seymour Hersh
Seymour Hersh
Seymour Myron Hersh is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author based in Washington, D.C. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine on military and security matters...

 said that according to an agreement between the United States Vice President Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

, Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams, Saudi National Security Adviser Prince Bandar bin Sultan, covert funding for the Sunni Fatah al-Islam would be provided by the Saudi regime to counterweight the influence of the Shiite Hezbollah.

Hersh said, "This was a covert operation that [Prince] Bandar ran with us." He also said that when he was in Beirut he "talked to officials who acknowledged the reason they were tolerating the radical jihadist groups was because they were seen as a protection against Hezbollah."

Hezbollah released a statement saying, "We feel that there is someone out there who wants to drag the [Lebanese] army to this confrontation and bloody struggle ... to serve well-known projects and aims," and it called for a political solution to the crisis.

German train bombings



The fourth-highest ranking member of Fatah al-Islam, Saddam el-Hajdib, and his brother Khaled Khair-Eddin el-Hajdib, were among the suspects behind failed bombings on German commuter trains on July 31, 2006. The bombs did not explode due to faulty mechanisms. Saddam el-Hajdib was killed by the Lebanese army in the 2007 conflict between Fatah al-Islam and the Lebanese army.

Plot to assassinate anti-Syrian Lebanese officials


On December 7, 2006 Le Monde
Le Monde
Le Monde is a French daily evening newspaper owned by La Vie-Le Monde Group and edited in Paris. It is one of two French newspapers of record, and has generally been well respected since its first edition under founder Hubert Beuve-Méry on 19 December 1944...

reported that a top UN official had been informed by the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) representative in Lebanon, Abbas Zaki
Abbas Zaki
Abbas Zaki is the former representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon and a member of Fatah's central committee.On November 7, 2008 Zaki called the United States "an enemy country"....

, of a plot by Fatah al-Islam to assassinate 36 anti-Syrian figures in Lebanon. PLO security agents later confronted the group, arresting six of them. Four were later released while a Syrian and a Saudi Arabian were handed over to the Lebanese military.

Lebanese authorities have accused the organization of being involved in the February 13, 2007 bombing of two minibus
Minibus
A minibus or minicoach is a passenger carrying motor vehicle that is designed to carry more people than a multi-purpose vehicle or minivan, but fewer people than a full-size bus. In the United Kingdom, the word "minibus" is used to describe any full-sized passenger carrying van. Minibuses have a...

es that killed three people, and injured more than 20 others, in Ain Alaq, Lebanon, and identified four of its members as having confessed to the bombing. They have also stated that the group is a front for Syrian intelligence in Lebanon. Both Fatah al-Islam and the Syrian government denied the collaboration charges.

Conflict with the Lebanese army




On May 19, 2007 a police search was mounted for suspects in a bank robbery a day earlier in Amyoun, a town southeast of Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

. Gunmen made off with $125,000 in cash in the robbery.

According to Ashraf Rifi
Ashraf Rifi
General Ashraf Rifi is the general director of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces .Rifi attended Lebanese University, studying the sociology of crime...

, the Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 Internal Security Forces
Internal Security Forces
The Internal Security Forces – ISF or Forces de Sécurité Intérieure in French, are the national police and security force of Lebanon. Modern police were established in Lebanon in 1861, with creation of the Gendarmerie...

 chief, the bank robbers were traced to an apartment in Tripoli which turned out to be an office for Fatah al-Islam. The armed militants at the office resisted arrest and a gunbattle ensued. A three-day standoff between security forces and militants at the apartment ended on 23 May, after the last Fatah al-Islam militant at that location blew himself up.

Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk is an English writer and journalist from Maidstone, Kent. As Middle East correspondent of The Independent, he has primarily been based in Beirut for more than 30 years. He has published a number of books and has reported on the United States's war in Afghanistan and the same country's...

 reported that while some of the group that had robbed the bank were cornered in the apartment block, others had holed up in the Nahr el-Bared camp north of the city. Under a 1969 Arab accord, the Lebanese army may not enter the Palestinian refugee camps.

The militants seized Lebanese army positions at the entrance to the Nahr al-Bared camp, capturing two armored personnel carriers. Security officials also reported that the gunmen had opened fire on roads leading out of the camp to Tripoli, and ambushed a military unit, killing two soldiers.

The attacks by Fatah al-Islam killed at least 27 Lebanese soldiers, 15 Fatah al-Islam militants and 15 civilians, injuring another 27 Lebanese soldiers and over 40 civilians. Lebanese forces fired artillery barrages against militants in the camp.

In response, the Lebanese army brought in reinforcements and on May 20 began a steady barrage of artillery and heavy machine gun fire in an attempt to hit militant positions that Fatah al-Islam had occupied inside the Nahr al-Bared camp.

On May 20, a spokesperson for Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 made an official statement to the WAFA
Wafa
'Wafa' , also known as the Palestine News Agency, is the news agency of the Palestinian National Authority, and was "the P.L.O.'s news agency" in the years before the formation of the P.A....

 Palestine News Agency affirming that the "so called Fatah al-Islam" is neither part of, nor linked to, the Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 organization or the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO). He further mentioned that this group had launched several attacks against Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and called upon Palestinian refugees to "isolate this emerging group".

The PLO representative in Lebanon, Abbas Zaki
Abbas Zaki
Abbas Zaki is the former representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon and a member of Fatah's central committee.On November 7, 2008 Zaki called the United States "an enemy country"....

 also met with official bodies in Lebanon to officially inform them that the group is made up of "extremists" and is not linked with Palestinian agenda.

On May 21, Zaki and other PLO officials attempted to negotiate a ceasefire to alleviate the humanitarian suffering in the camp. While the Lebanese army had been sending tank and mortar fire into the camp in pursuit of Fatah al-Islam, some 30,000 civilians were trapped inside, and conditions had rapidly worsened. A handful of the wounded were taken out but it was impossible to get outside help to many others. At least 8 refugees were killed and 60 others wounded.

Palestinian civilians from the refugee camp were finally able to flee the fighting after Fatah al-Islam declared a unilateral truce on May 22, and the exodus continued on May 23. Fatah al-Islam is still inside the camp, and says that if it is attacked, it will fight to the death.

An al Qaeda military official warned the Lebanese government to stop attacks on the Fatah al-Islam cell, or else “we will tear out your hearts with traps and surround your places with explosive canisters, and target all your businesses, beginning with tourism and ending with other rotten industries... We warn you for the last time, and after it there will only be rivers of blood.”

On the June 16, 2007, 68 Lebanese soldiers, 50 Fatah al-Islam supporters and 32 civilian Palestinians had been killed in the fighting according to Dailystar newspaper.

On Sunday, September 2, 2007, the Lebanese Army took control of the Nahr el-Bared camp, after three months of fighting. Thirty-nine Fatah al-Islam members were killed while attempting a mass pre-dawn break-out from the camp. At least three Lebanese soldiers also died in Sunday's fighting, taking the number of troops killed in 3 months to 158. At least 222 militants and a number of civilians were also killed in the same period. One day after the Lebanese Army victory unidentified fighters apparently clashed with security forces wounding two.
On Monday, September 10, 2007 it was announced that DNA tests on a body thought to be the group's leader Shaker al-Abssi
Shaker al-Abssi
Shaker al-Abssi was a veteran Palestinian guerrilla and Fatah al-Islam's leader. On 10 December, 2008 Fatah al-Islam announced that al-Abssi was believed to have been killed or arrested in ambush by Syrian security forces.- Biography :...

 had turned out negative. Lebanese officials now say that he probably fled the fighting in the camp before the army took control.

On Wednesday, December 12, 2007, Lebanese Army Major General Francois el-Hajj and his bodyguard were killed in a car bombing attack in Baabda
Baabda
Baabda is the capital city of Baabda District as well as the capital of Mount Lebanon Governorate, western Lebanon. Baabda was the capital city of the autonomous Ottoman Mount Lebanon....

. Several suspects have since been apprehended and investigated, and investigation suggests Fatah al-Islam involvement.

On Wednesday, January 9, 2008, Fatah al-Islam chief Shaker al-Abssi
Shaker al-Abssi
Shaker al-Abssi was a veteran Palestinian guerrilla and Fatah al-Islam's leader. On 10 December, 2008 Fatah al-Islam announced that al-Abssi was believed to have been killed or arrested in ambush by Syrian security forces.- Biography :...

 made a public speech in Lebanon, acknowledging his escape and vowing for revenge against the Lebanese army after the group's defeat in the 2007 Lebanon conflict.

Emirate plot


According to Lebanese and Palestinian sources, Fatah al-Islam had planned to revolt and establish an emirate
Emirate
An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim monarch styled emir.-Etymology:Etymologically emirate or amirate is the quality, dignity, office or territorial competence of any emir ....

 in the area of Tripoli with the help of al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 members who had fled Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. This operation was dubbed "Operation 755". According to Lebanese sources, the plot was uncovered and foiled. Lebanese security forces had found CDs with detailed plans for this plot. Abu-Salim Taha, spokesperson for the Fatah al-Islam denied these charges.

Criminal charges


On June 21, 2007, Lebanese State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza filed criminal charges against 16 Fatah al-Islam members accused of carrying out the February 13, 2007 Lebanon bombings against two civilian buses that killed two people and injured 21 others. Those attacks took place in Ain Alaq, a Lebanese mountain village.

Nine of the 16 suspects accused were in custody when the charges were filed; other, including Fatah al-Islam head Shaker al-Abssi
Shaker al-Abssi
Shaker al-Abssi was a veteran Palestinian guerrilla and Fatah al-Islam's leader. On 10 December, 2008 Fatah al-Islam announced that al-Abssi was believed to have been killed or arrested in ambush by Syrian security forces.- Biography :...

 and the group's reputed military commander Shehab Abu Qadour a/k/a Abu Hureira before his death were still being sought. The defendants include ten Syrians, two Lebanese, three Palestinians (including one woman) and a Saudi national.

Damascus bombing



Syria has alleged that Fatah al-Islam was behind the September 27, 2008 car bombing in Damascus, which left 17 dead. Syrian TV aired confessions of 10 people, including Shaker al-Abssi's daughter, who said they carried out the attack.

Death of Abd-al-Rahman Awad


Abd-al-Rahman Awad and an associate were intercepted on a main road in eastern Lebanon and died in an exchange of fire with security forces. Abd-al-Rahman Awad was already high on the Lebanese wanted list. He had been condemned to death in absentia on charges relating to a number of bomb attacks and killings over the past three years. According to Lebanese security officials, he had recently been hiding in the big Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh near Sidon in the south. He was traveling with two companions on the main road to Syria when he was ambushed by security forces in the town of Chtaura in east Lebanon. Mr Awad and one of his associates named Abu Bakr Abdullah were killed in a hail of gunfire. The third man escaped. On August 18, 2010 the group says its leader and a top commander were heading to Iraq to join insurgents there when Lebanese security troops killed them over the weekend, according to a U.S. terror-monitoring firm. The Washington-based SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks militant postings on the Internet, said Wednesday that a statement on jihadist forums from the Fatah Islam group confirmed the deaths of the two. The statement also said that they were going to Iraq to join the Islamic state of Iraq.

On August 19, 2010 Hundreds of mourners in a south Lebanon camp on Thursday laid to rest Fatah al-Islam head Abdel Rahman Awad. The open-casket funeral of Awad, dubbed the "prince" of Fatah al-Islam and formerly one of Lebanon's most wanted Islamists, was held at Ain al-Hilweh and attended by his family, representatives of Islamist factions and members of the Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah movement. Awad, who had been hiding in Ain al-Hilweh for more than a year, opened fire at troops along with his comrade and the soldiers responded, killing the pair, the army said.Abu Bakr was rumoured to have provided military training to members of Fatah al-Islam. His funeral was expected later on Thursday.

U.S. funding and training


The original ranks of the group contained several members who have been trained by the U.S. in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 in order to participate in the Soviet Afghanistan war
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

, fighting against the Soviets.

In its initial phase, the group received U.S. funding through funds given to the Lebanese government, led by prime minister Fouad Siniora
Fouad Siniora
Fuad Siniora is a Lebanese politician, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon, a position he held from 19 July 2005 to May 25, 2008 the date of the election of the new President of Lebanon; he was renominated to the post on 28 May 2008 and held the post as Acting President between those...

, in order to weaken Syria, which was seen as a supporter of terrorism in Iraq. Fatah al Islam was regarded as hostile towards the Syrian friendly Hezbollah, therefore deemed worthy of financial support by the Siniora government.

External links