BEIRUT — An al-Qaida-inspired 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 US 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, posted Tuesday, said the two were en route to join an al-Qaida front group in Iraq. The Lebanese military had said they were gunned down Saturday in a firefight with security forces in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley.
They were identified as Abdul-Rahman Awad, a Palestinian leader of the Fatah Islam and one of the most wanted men in Lebanon, and his aide, Ghazi Faysal Abdullah, also known as "Abu Bakr."
The militants' statement noted that Awad had sent his son to Iraq two months ago to carry out a suicide bombing, SITE said.