BEIRUT, Lebanon – One of the Islamic militants killed in fighting with Lebanese troops in northern Lebanon was a suspect in a failed German train bombing attempt, a Lebanese security official said Monday.
The body of Saddam el-Hajdib was among the burned bodies of 10 Fatah Islam fighters found in a building in the northern city of Tripoli after it was raided by Lebanese troops and policemen during Sunday's fierce fighting with the militants, the official told The Associated Press.
El-Hajdib was the fourth-highest ranking official in the Fatah Islam group, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
El-Hajdib had been on trial in absentia in Lebanon in connection with the failed German plot. It was not clear if Lebanese officials had known his whereabouts before the fighting broke out Sunday in northern Lebanon, in the city of Tripoli and in a nearby Palestinian refugee camp where Fatah Islam has set up its headquarters.
El-Hajdib is a brother of Youssef el-Hajdib, who is under arrest in Germany in the bombing attempt.
Four other Lebanese suspects are being held in police custody in Lebanon and are being tried for their alleged role in the bombing attempt. They are Jihad Hamad, Ayman Hawa, Khalil al-Boubou and Khaled Khair-Eddin el-Hajdib.
Khaled el-Hajdib is a cousin of Youssef and Saddam el-Hajdib.
Lebanese authorities arrested the four suspects on charges they allegedly planted crude bombs on two trains at the Cologne, Germany, station on July 31. The bombs, found later in the day on trains at the Koblenz and Dortmund stations, failed to explode because of faulty detonators.
German surveillance cameras are said to have filmed suspects as they wheeled suitcases into the station.
Germany wants to extradite the men, but there is no extradition treaty between Germany and Lebanon. Lebanon has decided to try the suspects in its courts and defer consideration of extradition until later.