BEIRUT, Lebanon – Lebanese (search) security forces have arrested a Yemeni man suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda (search) and masterminding bombings of Western targets in Lebanon, security officials said Saturday.
Moammar Abdullah al-Awamah (search), 29, was arrested Monday on the outskirts of the Ein el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon in south Lebanon, the officials said on condition of anonymity.
The teeming refugee camp is home to 75,000 displaced Palestinians and various Palestinian and Islamic militant groups.
The officials said al-Awamah, also known as "Ibn al-Shaheed," or Son of the Martyr, was brought to the Lebanese capital, Beirut, where army intelligence investigators were questioning him.
Al-Awamah is among 35 people indicted by state prosecutors for bombing U.S. and British targets in Lebanon between May 2002 and April this year.
With his arrest, 32 suspected cell members are in custody. Most of them are Lebanese, but Egyptian, Saudi and Yemeni nationals are believed to be among those detained.
All 35 are charged with forming a terrorist network to bomb Western targets and harm Lebanon's reputation.
The bombings, which took place in Beirut and the northern city of Tripoli, wounded five people and damaged several fast food restaurants.
The indictment says al-Awamah had fought with Al Qaeda forces against Russian troops in Chechnya and with the hard-line Taliban militia in Afghanistan.
Al-Awamah fled Afghanistan after U.S. forces attacked that country's fallen Taliban regime following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and arrived in Lebanon with a Yemeni passport.
He took refugee in Ein el-Hilweh, the largest of 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, where he lived with his Palestinian wife, the security officials said.
Palestinian militant groups and other radical Islamic organizations operate within the camp, which has been the scene of frequent bombings, assassinations and shootings. Lebanese troops man checkpoints outside it, but do not enter.