Lebanese military court sentences an Islamic State group official to 160 years in prison


BEIRUT (AP) — A Lebanese military court has sentenced an official with the extremist Islamic State group to 160 years in prison for carrying out deadly attacks against security forces and planning others targeting government buildings and crowded civilian areas, judicial officials said Wednesday.

The officials said Imad Yassin, a Palestinian in his 50s, confessed to all 11 charges against him, including joining a “terrorist organization,” committing crimes in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh, shooting at Lebanese soldiers, and transporting weapons and munitions for militant groups.

Yassin, also known as Imad Akl, said he was planning several other attacks, including blowing up two main power stations, the headquarters of a major local television station in Beirut, killing a leading politician, as well as planning attacks on hotels north of Beirut, the officials said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Before joining IS, Yassin was a member of other militant Islamic groups, including al-Qaida-linked Jund al-Sham, which is still active in Ein el-Hilweh. In later years, he became IS’ top official in the camp.

Yassin was detained in Ein el-Hilweh, near the port city of Sidon, six years ago and has been held since. The total 11 sentences that he received count to up to 160 years in prison, the officials said.

The session during which he was sentenced started Monday night and lasted until the early hours of Tuesday, the officials said. The news about his sentence became public on Wednesday.

At the height of its rise in Iraq and Syria after it declared a caliphate in 2014, IS claimed responsibility for deadly attacks in different parts of Lebanon that left scores of people dead. Lebanese troops launched a major operation in 2017 during which they captured IS-held areas along the Lebanon-Syria border.

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