Baalbek criminals turn to lucrative kidnapping.Summary: Two young men are playing a game of cat-and-mouse with the police and Lebanese Army in the city of Baalbek. For now, M.J., 23, and A.J., 22, have escaped the reach of security forces.
BAALBEK, Lebanon: Two young men are playing a game of cat-and-mouse with the police and Lebanese Army in the city of Baalbek. For now, M.J., 23, and A.J., 22, have escaped the reach of security forces, and even the Army which has a checkpoint (programming) checkpoint - Saving the current state of a program and its data, including intermediate results, to disk or other non-volatile storage, so that if interrupted the program could be restarted at the point at which the last checkpoint occurred. at the northern entrance of the city, located only 500 meters from their neighborhood, Sharawneh.
Both men became fugitives after being charged with growing marijuana marijuana or marihuana, drug obtained from the flowering tops, stems, and leaves of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa (see hemp) or C. indica; the latter species can withstand colder climates. in their village, Dar al-Wasiah, which lies roughly 30 kilometers west of the city. They are also wanted for being members of a gang that carries out armed robberies and kidnappings for ransom ransom, price of redemption demanded by the captor of a person, vessel, or city. In ancient times cities frequently paid ransom to prevent their plundering by captors. The custom of ransoming was formerly sanctioned by law. .
A security official who investigates criminal gangs in the region says that kidnapping kidnapping, in law, the taking away of a person by force, threat, or deceit, with intent to cause him to be detained against his will. Kidnapping may be done for ransom or for political or other purposes. rings began popping up last September. Mohammad Fayyed Ismail led perhaps the most notorious ring, carrying out a number of abductions, including kidnapping the head of Liban Lait Liban Lait is the name of the largest dairy farm in Lebanon, founded in 1997. It was attacked during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. Liban Lait has the contract to supply the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with milk ; previously, this contract had , Ahmad Zeidan and a number of Syrian businessmen, before being arrested.
But the kidnappings have only increased since then. Ibrahim Atat, the son of a well-known owner of a herbal herbal, early botanical book containing descriptions and illustrations of herbs and plants with their properties, chiefly those qualities that made them useful as medicines or condiments. Most of the herbals were written between c.1470 and c. medicines company, is still in custody since the weekend.
The region is fertile ground for criminal activity. Some 3,000 in the north Bekaa are currently wanted on criminal charges, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Human Rights Parliamentary committee.
In most cases, the crimes are minor but some residents are more deeply involved in crime and there are some 35,000 outstanding warrants in the Bekaa region.
This is the path that several hundred young people in the region are taking, including the sons of clans living in the arid ar·id
1. Lacking moisture, especially having insufficient rainfall to support trees or woody plants: an arid climate.
2. region, where growing drugs is a lucrative means to make a living and one of the few opportunities for profit.
"Growing marijuana and selling drugs for us is like growing potatoes and tomatoes. It is our only means to make a living and have some social standing at the same time," one local clan leader explains.
The two fugitives, like most in Sharawneh, are members of the Jaafar clan. Three other young men, including two under 18, are part of M.J. and A.J.'s gang. The five live in Sharawneh and spend most of their time staying up at night and hanging out until the early hours of the morning.
The youngest of the group seem to look up to the fugitives, who talk about their exploits, including driving expensive stolen cars and doing their best to attract women, as well as launching armed confrontations with security forces.
They say they're able to afford the activities with the money they earn through dealing drugs. But since September, they have been using a new way to make money: kidnapping wealthy people.
The five friends say that kidnappings are lucrative and easy. Two weeks ago, they targeted Mohammad Makkieh, the son of a local businessman. Makkieh delivers food to his father's customers and the group waited for the moment he left the store on his way to Deir al-Ahmar, 20 kilometers to the west of Baalbek, to grab him.
They chased him on the road using two 4x4s and forced him at gunpoint to pull off the road. Two of the kidnappers moved him into a 4x4 and took him to Dar al-Wasiah. They held him in an abandoned home there and his father received the next morning a phone call from them, demanding a ransom of $300,000 and instructing him not to tell the police.
But his father did tell, spurring a rash of phone calls between security officials, politicians and clan leaders in an effort to secure Makkieh's release. The security forces asked his father to turn off his phone, as part of a new plan to put pressure on kidnappers and make them lose any hope of receiving a ransom.
Investigators quickly identified the gang and began negotiating with the leaders of their clan, who pressured the kidnappers. The strategy paid off for Makkieh, who was released, but not for the kidnappers, who did not receive any ransom.
The clan leaders handed over the two minor kidnappers to security forces, but then worked to have them released, while A.J. and M.J. remained fugitives. The two say they hope the next kidnapping they carry out is more profitable.
The security official say, other gangs, such as Ismail's, have taken to threatening the families, calling them and forcing them to listen to the cries of the abducted. Sometimes they fire guns near the hostages to scare them.
The ransom increases or decreases like the stock market, depending on the reactions of the family, he adds.
The official also says the Lebanese government's approach to security in the region is counterproductive coun·ter·pro·duc·tive
Tending to hinder rather than serve one's purpose: "Violation of the court order would be counterproductive" Philip H. Lee. and that security forces don't have the trust of the people.
"Some people are assigned in important positions who are not immune to corruption and receive money in return for turning a blind eye to crimes," says the official, citing a well-known example of an official who received $50,000 from a drug dealer to let him go, using a case of mistaken identity to justify the release.
"My men know all of the gangs that kidnap in the region. Most of them are drug dealers and users," he says. "I could arrest them if I was given the manpower to do it."
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