Naim Abbas: From an Admirer of Hezbollah to its Sworn Enemy

by: Uprooted Palestinians
Lebanese soldiers in the Corniche al-Mazraa neighborhood where Naim Abbas was found. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah)

The man who has more than one nickname (Abu Ismail and Abu Sleiman), and who is described by security agencies as an unparalleled “security mastermind and executor”, is now in the hands of the army’s intelligence directorate. The security community could hardly believe the news and the Islamist community is in shock. Suddenly, Abbas collapsed and confessed, in a record time of four hours, to dangerous information that he knew of and that thwarted more than one plan of suicide bombers and rocket shelling before they happened.
Abbas was kicked out of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades about a year ago. He stayed away from Sheikh Tawfiq Taha, known as Abu Mohammed, due to internal organizational disagreements. A few months ago, he swore allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and began to work for the al-Qaeda affiliated group, but he was not connected to the ISIS branch declared by the so-called Abu Sayyaf al-Ansari weeks ago. Islamist sources reveal that his relationship was directly with the organization’s leadership in Iraq.

Naim Abbas, 43, is a famous name in the world of terrorism and jihad. He is a leading figure in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp whose name comes up whenever prominent leaders such as Tawfiq Taha, Majed al-Majed, Usama al-Shihabi and others are mentioned. The name resurfaced last month when Sheikh Omar al-Atrash was arrested, who was accused of taking suicide bombers to Dahiyeh. His name was mentioned that day as Abu Sleiman who owns a warehouse on the outskirts of Dahiyeh where the car bombs are parked before they head to their target. Prior to that, he worked in the shadows and shied away from the media. It has also been speculated that he has been behind rocket attacks on Israel and attacks on UNIFIL troops.

His name came up in 2009 in the confessions of Fadi Ibrahim, known as al-Sikmo, who said that Abbas was involved in the assassination of the army chief of operations, Major General Francois al-Hajj in 2007. Nevertheless, the archives of the security agencies had only two old photographs of Abbas. One is more than 20 years old and the second is more than eight years old in which he appears sitting on a motorcycle in Ain al-Hilweh.
Abbas, who left the Islamic Jihad movement years ago to work with al-Qaeda, is a man of few words. Despite his record-setting speedy confession, everyone who met him agrees that he is a master at the art of silence. He exhibits little knowledge of a situation but his enthusiasm sometimes exposes him.
For a while, he stopped using a cell phone for security reasons but he went back to carrying one out of necessity. He started changing his number from time to time. The young man who admired Hezbollah in the past, now considers the “Shia party” his sworn enemy. He throws accusations against “the party that stood by the oppressive Syrian regime against the oppressed people,” and is proud of his affiliation with al-Qaeda.
It is not confirmed which exact piece of information led to Naim’s arrest. It is being circulated that the terrorist, who also faced an attempt of assassination by the Israeli enemy in 2010 by explosives, had been followed closely by the army’s intelligence directorate. Security sources reveal that the content of the recordings and eavesdrop on communications among other proofs, as well as the shock of the arrest, are the reasons that brought on his quick confession.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *