Da Shaker Youssef al-Abssi duk­ket opp i pale­stinske flykt­ninge­leire med flere hundre mann for å bekjempe Israel, ble han mot­tatt med åpne armer. Men lang­somt sur­net for­hol­det.

Pale­sti­nerne opp­da­get at men­nene sto for en annen ideo­logi og reli­gion. Nykom­merne var strengt reli­giøse og betrak­tet andre mus­li­mer som van­tro som kunne dre­pes. Dette var heavy stuff for mange.
De kla­get til Syria og fikk til svar at de skulle legge vekk sine beten­ke­lig­he­ter. Al-Abbsi til­bød Hiz­bol­lah hjelp i som­mer­ens krig mot Israel, men fikk avslag i lik­het med pale­stinske grup­per. Det satte like­vel vondt blod. 

Recent inter­views with Fatah Upri­sing and other offi­ci­als shed new light on the rapid emer­gence of a radi­cal Isla­mic force now locked in a bloody stand­off with the Lebanese army. They also reveal the com­plex inte­rac­tion of Pale­sti­nian and other groups in Leba­non — all oppo­sed to Israel but with dif­fe­ring ideo­lo­gies — that are crea­ting huge chal­lenges for the govern­ment here.
When al-Absi first appea­red in Leba­non, Pale­sti­ni­ans there were anti­ci­pa­ting an Israeli attack on their camps after the cap­ture of an Israeli sol­dier by Pale­sti­nian mili­tants in Gaza and other vio­lence there, said Abu Moham­med and other Pale­sti­ni­ans.

So al-Absi’s offer of figh­ting Israel in case of attack was rece­i­ved with open arms by Fatah Upri­sing and its deputy lea­der, Abu Kha­led al-Amleh, who was based in Dama­scus. Fatah Upri­sing itself broke from the main­stream Pale­sti­nian Fatah move­ment in the early 1980s.


Al-Absi, who is wan­ted in Jor­dan for involve­ment in a 2004 assas­si­na­tion of a U.S. diplo­mat there, spread out increas­ing num­bers of recruits to seve­ral Pale­sti­nian camps — about 120 in Beirut’s Bourj el-Barajneh, 60 in Bed­dawi in the north and 150 in Nahr el-Bared.

Abu Moham­med and anot­her Fatah Upri­sing offi­cial, Mahmoud Doulla, told The Associa­ted Press that their lea­ders were so impressed with al-Absi’s sel­fless dedi­ca­tion to the Pale­sti­nian cause that, at first, they ignored war­ning signs of other trouble.

We weren’t of the same ideo­logy,” explai­ned Abu Moham­med. “They followed a more puri­tan kind of Islam, you can say fana­tic Islam. … They were ready to kill dis­be­lie­vers.”

Abu Moham­med and Doulla said they were con­cerned when they noticed al-Absi and his men were hostile toward allies of Fatah Upri­sing, such as the Syrian govern­ment, Lebanon’s Shi­ites and the mili­tant Shi­ite group Hez­bol­lah.

When Fatah Upri­sing offi­ci­als in Leba­non aler­ted their superiors in Dama­scus that al-Absi’s men “were beha­ving stran­gely,” they were swiftly dis­mis­sed and told the group was in Leba­non for the “struggle” and to fight the “Zio­nist enemy,” said Abu Moham­med.

Al-Absi’s for­ces grew quickly. At the Sha­tilla camp, what star­ted as 20 mili­tants reached 100 during last summer’s Hez­bol­lah war with Israel, Abu Moham­med said.

He said al-Absi was snub­bed by Hez­bol­lah when he offe­red to fight alongs­ide the Shi­ite group during the sum­mer war.

But Bei­rut-based Pale­sti­nian expert Majed Azzam said the offer to fight alongs­ide Hez­bol­lah was made by all the Pale­sti­nian factions in Leba­non, and rejected.

Al-Absi sub­scri­bes an ideo­logy of Islam that urges Sunni Mus­lims to kill anyone they con­si­der an infi­del, even Shi­ite Mus­lims. But Azzam said despite that, al-Absi has never spo­ken against the Shi­ite Hez­bol­lah because it is figh­ting Israel.

Al-Absi’s rela­tion­ship with Fatah Upri­sing showed its first pub­lic sign of cracks last Nov. 23, when Pale­sti­nian and Lebanese security for­ces rai­ded an apart­ment occu­pied by his gun­men in the Bed­dawi camp in northern Leba­non.

In the ensu­ing batt­les, a Pale­sti­nian security man was kil­led and two of al-Absi’s mili­tants were wounded and handed over to Lebanese security by the camp’s Pale­sti­nian security. Al-Absi was ange­red that Fatah Upri­sing did not pro­tect the men or pro­test their handover to Lebanese aut­hori­ties.

On Dec. 5, Fatah Upri­sing lea­der Saeed Moussa orde­red al-Absi and his figh­ters to leave his group’s bases in the Sha­tilla and Bourj el-Barajneh camps. Al-Absi wit­hd­rew to the Bed­dawi camp. 

De fikk et ulti­ma­tum om å for­late Bed­dawi innen 24 timer, og hav­net til slutt i Nahr el-Bared. Der kunn­gjorde al-Absi opp­ret­tel­sen av Fatah al-Islam.

His­to­rien viser hvor dis­rup­tiv jiha­dis­tene vir­ker i et sam­funn.

Mili­tant group broke ties in Leba­non

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