Leader of Group Linked to al-Qaeda Dies While in Custody

The leader of a group linked to al-Qaeda that carried out different attacks throughout the Middle East prior to shifting focus onto the civil war in Syria, died Saturday while being held in custody in Lebanon.

The army in Lebanon said in a brief statement that Mijad al-Mijad died on Saturday while being treated at a military hospital as his health had deteriorated.

An army general from the Lebanese military said that al-Majid died following kidney failure. Al-Majid, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, had been detained inside Lebanon for the past month, while being held at an undisclosed location.

He allegedly was the commander for the Abdullah Azzam Brigades a militant group made up of Sunnis with links to al-Qaeda. He also was amongst the top 85 most wanted people in Saudi Arabia.

In 2012, his group was designated by the United States State Department as a terrorist organization. It froze assets the group was holding in the U.S. and banned any Americans from having a business relationship with the group.

The brigades claimed responsibility for many attacks across the entire region, including the bombing in 2010 of an oil tanker from Japan in the Persian Gulf as well as a number of rockets strikes into Israel from Lebanon.

The attack that took place most recently claimed by the Brigade was a bombing that included a double suicide in November near the Iranian Embassy in Lebanon that killed 23 and wounded dozens more.

Reports of his arrest first surfaced earlier this week in Lebanon. Security officials confirmed a suspect had been detained and was in custody, but they had not yet determined his identity. Al-Majid was thought to have kidney problems that required dialysis.

According to newspaper in Lebanon, al-Majid had been detailed in the last week of last month. Reports said he had been captured while inside an ambulance after he had dialysis in a Beirut Hospital.

In 2013, Hezbollah, the Shiite group from Lebanon announced it had started fighting beside the troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The Hezbollah was also being attacked by members of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.

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