Last updated: 13 July, 2011

Interpol issues wanted notices for Hariri bomb suspects

The global police agency Interpol issued wanted notices Wednesday for four men indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on suspicion of the 2005 murder of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

Interpol said the names would be distributed to police forces but not made public at the request of the UN-backed court, although they have already been leaked in Beirut and confirmed as members of the Hezbollah militia.

The identities of the suspects have been distributed to all 188 Interpol member states, whose police forces have been asked to assist in their arrest, a statement from the French-based agency said.

“We have and will continue to closely cooperate with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in its efforts to identify and bring to justice those responsible for the assassination of Rafik Hariri,” said Interpol chief Ronald Noble.

On Sunday, a senior Lebanese official told AFP the warrants were for four senior Hezbollah officers who are accused of carrying out a “terrorist act” and of “killing Rafiq Hariri and 21 others using explosives.”

The Special Tribunal submitted a confidential indictment and arrest warrants for the four accused in June. The names were not released but were leaked to the Beirut media and later confirmed by the Lebanese government.

Mustafa Badreddin, Salim Ayyash, Assad Sabra and Hussein Anaissi are all members of Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which fought a 2006 war with Israel and now leads the majority bloc in the Lebanese parliament.

In a July 2 speech, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah boasted that no Lebanese governmment would be able to arrest the suspects.