Lebanese salafist cleric charged with 'terrorism'
(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Salafist sheikh Ahmed al-Assir was formally charged by a Lebanese military judge on Tuesday with committing alleged acts of terrorism, according to Lebanon's official news agency.
Al-Assir was arrested on Aug. 15 at Beirut's international airport while attempting to travel to Nigeria € via Egypt € on a forged passport.
On Tuesday, he was charged with "setting up sleeper cells" in Lebanon's coastal city of Sidon and "planning to assassinate political, military and religious figures."
An imam at a Sidon mosque, al-Assir had been a vocal critic of Lebanese militia Hezbollah's presence in the city.
In 2013, after a two-month sit-in in Sidon held to demand Hezbollah's disarmament, al-Assir had called for demonstrations in support of the uprising in Syria, where Hezbollah was fighting alongside Syrian regime forces.
His political activities prompted a day-long clash between his supporters and the Lebanese army, which left several people dead from both sides while al-Assir himself fled to an unknown location.
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