Lebanese Army intelligence arrested an “important” suspect in north Lebanon allegedly linked to detained extremist Sheikh Khaled Hoblos and fugitive Shadi al-Mawlawi, according to the state-run National News Agency.
Ahmad al-Kasha, apparently disguised in women’s clothing at the time of his arrest Wednesday morning, was apprehended at a checkpoint in Madfoun, in north Lebanon’s Batroun district, the NNA report said.
Security sources said that Kasha, a nationalized Lebanese citizen from Syria, is also known as “Abu Omar Kasha” and hails from the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. Speaking to The Daily Star, a senior Army official confirmed the arrest, but refused to give further details.
Kasha allegedly took part in clashes against the Army in the city on several occasions and had close ties to both Hoblos and Mawlawi. Hoblos was arrested in April during a police operation in Tripoli. Notorious militant Osama Mansour, who was wanted on terrorism charges, was killed in the same operation. Investigations into Hoblos uncovered militant cells in north Lebanon that were set to be armed by the preacher before his arrest.