Among other foreign jihadists. “Arrested Aussies ‘not senior extremists’,” by Ed O’Loughlin for the Sydney Morning Herald:
POLICE who arrested boxing champion Ahmed Elomar with two other Australian
friends in Lebanon say that the three are not known to be senior wanted extremists.
“These are not names that I’ve heard of,” said Lt Colonel Bassem al Ayoubi, the
chief of police in Tripoli, when asked about the Elomar group. “I don’t think they are major people.”
But two other Australians arrested in connection to the bloody shoot-out in Tripoli on June 24 are still being interrogated by military intelligence over suspected links to the international jihadi movement.
Nine people died in a ten-hour gunbattle after former Australian taxi driver
Omar Hadba broke under interrogation and led police to a militant cell hiding in an apartment belonging to Basam al Sayed, another dual Australian-Lebanese citizen.
Among the dead were five Sunni militants (three Saudis, a Chechen and a Lebanese), a Lebanese soldier, and an off-duty policeman and his two daughters, aged eight
Police said that hours before the fatal raid they had recovered a substantial arsenal of weapons and other military equipment from Hadba’s property.
The arrests of five Australian citizens in the north Lebanon city come at a time of high tension between the Lebanese government and the strongly Sunni Muslim local population
“We are arresting a lot of people at this time, some thanks to investigations
and others due to suspicions,” said Lt Colonel Ayoubi. “We interrogate them and if there’s
nothing we let them go.”
Police have yet to make any specific allegations against the group of three Australian men who were arrested on June 20, including boxing champion Ahmed Elomar.