File - Sheikh Houssam al-Sabbagh, fourth left, attends a ceremony in Tripoli, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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Sheikh Husam al-Sabbagh, a prominent Salafist figure in Tripoli who is believed to be an Al-Qaeda member, is in the spotlight again after media reports suggested he was involved in rigging cars and recruiting suicide bombers to carry out attacks in Lebanon.Armed groups that have links to Sabbagh and that are active in Syria and Lebanon are unlikely to stand idly by should Sabbagh be detained.Sabbagh, who hails from Tripoli's Bab al-Tabbaneh, has his own views about developments in the city that differ from those of other Salafists. Sabbagh believes that rounds of fighting between Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh are futile, arguing that Islamist jihadists in Lebanon and the entire world should fight alongside Syrian rebels in Syria to topple Assad's regime. The sheikh acknowledged that Sabbagh had visited Tripoli MP Mohammad Kabbara Wednesday to discuss recent media reports.The preacher added that Sabbagh, who lived in Australia and carries an Australian passport, still maintains contacts with Sheikh Abdullah Zuhair Issa, better known as Abu Hamza, who lives in Australia. He said Issa channels funds to Syrian rebels through Sabbagh.
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