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Tripoli terror cell linked to murder of Gemayel in 2007.

Byline: Hussein Abdallah

Summary: Former President Amin Gemayel said on Tuesday that he had prior knowledge of a possible link between an alleged terrorist network that was recently arrested in the North and the assassination of his son, former Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel, who was gunned down by unknown assailants in November 2006.

BEIRUT: Former President Amin Gemayel said on Tuesday that he had prior knowledge of a possible link between an alleged terrorist network that was recently arrested in the North and the assassination of his son, former Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel, who was gunned down by unknown assailants in November 2006.

The Phalange Party leader was referring to what has become known as the "Jawhar ring," which was named after Abdel-Ghani Ali Jawhar, whom security forces are still being searching for following the arrest of other members of his cell.

The Jawhar ring is believed to have been behind two recent bombings that struck the Northern city of Tripoli.

At least 16 people, including several soldiers, were killed in the attacks.

The daily An-Nahar quoted informed sources Tuesday as saying investigations have discovered a link between the Jawhar ring and Gemayel's murder.

The sources added that security forces were still chasing Jawhar and one of his aides.

The unidentified aide, according to the sources, had played a role in several terrorist attacks, including the one that targeted the industry minister.

An-Nahar said that interrogations of suspects have revealed a number of plans to carry out bomb attacks against police headquarters in addition to attempting to assassinate the commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, General Jean Kahwaji, when he was the head of the army's 12th Brigade, stationed in the North.

The state prosecutor has indicted 19 Lebanese, 13 Palestinians, one Syrian and one Saudi in the Tripoli bombings.

Following his meeting with Orthodox Bishop Elias Aoude, Gemayel stressed that revealing the truth about Pierre's assassination would benefit the entire country and would heal the wounds of his family.

"However, no matter what the results are, Pierre will not be brought back to you," he said.

"But this does not stop me from congratulating our security and armed forces for their work which will help them in winning the people's trust."

"Uncovering crimes and arresting criminals would help our security forces regain much of their credibility ... This would create a sort of deterrence in the future," he added.

Copyright 2008, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Nov 5, 2008
Words:415
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