Leader Of Saudi Hezbollah Wing Ahmed al- Mughassil Arrested In Beirut For Attack Which Killed 19 US Airmen In 1996
August 27, 2015
Saudi Suspect in anti-US Bombing Arrested in Beirut
Arutz Sheva Staff
The key suspect in a 1996 bombing that killed 19 US airmen in Saudi Arabia was arrested this month at Beirut airport on arrival from Tehran, a Lebanese security official said Thursday.
"Internal Security Forces (ISF) arrested Ahmed al-Mughassil at Beirut airport on August 8 after he arrived from Iran on a forged passport," the security official told AFP.
"He was handed over to Saudi authorities the next day," acting on an extradition request filed by Saudi Arabia, he said.
Mughassil, an alleged co-planner of the truck bombing of a building housing US troops in Khobar, has been turned over "after a hunt that lasted about 19 years", the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
It said he had been hiding in Iran.
Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported that Saudi intelligence had tipped off the ISF about Mughassil's arrival in Beirut, "based on American information."
The bomb blast on June 25, 1996 that also wounded more than 370 people, destroyed part of the eight-story Khobar Towers in the eastern Saudi town.
US prosecutors have said Mughassil drove an explosives-laden truck and parked it outside the military compound, which housed US, British, French and Saudi military personnel.
The 48-year-old is said to be the head of the Saudi wing of Hezbollah, an outlawed terror organization whose members are drawn from the kingdom's Shiite Muslim community.
Tehran has denied any involvement in the bombing.
Captured after 20 years on the run: Terrorist 'behind' 1996 bombing of US base in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 people is arrested by the Saudis
Ahmed al-Mughassil, the main suspect in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, has been captured in Beirut
Attack killed 19 U.S. service personnel and wounded almost 500 people when a truck bomb exploded outside of building
FBI says he is also the leader of the Hizbollah al-Hejaz militant organization
A Lebanese security source said that Mughassil, a Saudi national, had been detained in Lebanon and transferred to Saudi Arabia around two weeks ago and that he was considered by Riyadh as the top suspect in the case.