BEIRUT, Lebanon – Lebanese authorities have arrested an Iraqi financier wanted by his government for funding insurgents, a Lebanese security official said Wednesday.
Mudhhir Abdul-Karim Thiyab al-Kharbit was picked up at Beirut airport on Friday when he arrived to join his wife, who was planning to undergo an operation at a hospital in the Lebanese capital, said the official who is familiar with such security matters.
He said Lebanese police arrested al-Kharbit on a tip from Interpol. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
Iraqi state-run television also reported the arrest in Beirut, identifying al-Kharbit him as a major financier of insurgents in Iraq. It had no other details.
Acting on information from the international police, al-Kharbit was identified on arrival and booked for questioning, the official said.
Al-Kharbeet, whose family is known to be wealthy and enjoyed special status under Saddam Hussein, is on the Iraqi government's list of 41 most-wanted people. He ranked 8th on the list, with a $50,000 bounty on his head.
The Iraqi accusations alleged al-Kharbeet funds the insurgents against Iraqi forces in his native region of al-Anbar in western Iraq, where the insurgency has strong presence. The allegations also said he funds Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Al-Kharbit is a wealthy Sunni Muslim family with businesses in major government construction projects under Saddam.