Beirut's airport is under Hezbollah's hegemony
By: Elias Bejjani *

July 15/2010 mere

Day after day unfolding events show plainly and with no doubt that Hezbollah fully controls Beirut's International Airport while the presence of the Lebanese official authorities at this vital and dynamic facility is mere symbolic, totally marginalized and practically does not exist at all. This terrorist Iranian armed militia has the upper hand inside the airport and all over its vicinity that is adjacent to its mini southern suburb mini state (Al Dahya Al Janobia). In reality it is Hezbollah's air port par excellence and not Lebanon's.

Hezbollah has installed dozens of its own run cameras all over the airport and closely monitors around the clock offices, corridors, waiting halls, runways, control tower, entrances, exits, stores etc. Meanwhile the airport's security chief, Brigadier General Wafiq Choucair, is loyal to Hezbollah and not to the Lebanese official authorities. In 2008 when the Saniora Lebanese government tried to transfer Choucair to another post, Hezbollah was boldly defiant, and militarily invaded and occupied the Sunni West Beirut and tried but failed to occupy the Druze stronghold of Mt. Lebanon. Hundreds of people were killed and injured during the bloody invasion. Hezbollah's general secretary, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, called the invasion a glorious day.

Hezbollah has been holding the airport, as well as the whole country, hostage since 2005. In this terrorism context dozens of Lebanese nationals from Diaspora who support the sovereignty, freedom and independence of their homeland and oppose Hezbollah's hegemony and occupation were either unlawfully banned from entering Lebanon via the airport, or humiliated, threatened, detained arbitrarily, and wrongfully and falsely accused of treason. Many of them were flagrantly harassed and badly intimidated before they could return to their Diaspora countries.

Hezbollah freely uses the airport for importing all kinds of weapons and for all other illegal trafficking. Jihadists enter and leave through the airport freely as well as Iranian militant personal and officials. In this realm two Lebanese MP'S who opposed Hezbollah and Syria were assassinated only a few hours after they disguisedly and secretly returned to Lebanon via the airport (Gobran Tueini September 13/2005 and Antoine Ghanem in December 20/2007). Hezbollah's Camera's taped their entrance and assailants took care of them.

The latest Beirut airport - Hezbollah scandal unfolded last week when presumably a terrorist plot to explode a Saudi-owned (Nasair company) Airbus 320 failed.
News agencies stated that on Friday 09/10 passengers on board a Saudi aircraft at the Beirut airport runway reported seeing a man in a baseball cap with a backpack make a dash for the plane as it prepared to taxi. He stumbled once and then continued towards the plane. The passengers and flight attendants informed the pilot, but he did not take any action and continued takeoff without informing the Beirut control tower that anything was amiss.

The Nas Air flight XY 720 that took off from Beirut airport late Friday with 130 passengers on board including high ranking Saudi military officers, safely landed Saturday morning in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. At that time a body of an unidentified man was found by a maintenance worker while inspected the right rear landing gear of the plane. Saudi authorities reported that they found along with the dead man a picture for his wife, Jihadist verses and a picture for Al Khomeini. On Monday, after a series of investigations it was officially announced in Beirut that the man's name was Firas Haidar, a Shiite Lebanese, national from the area of Burj al-Barajneh near Beirut airport.
The question is how could this man alone and peacefully manage to freely infiltrate and fool all the security checkpoints and then easily reach the airport runway unnoticed by the dozens of cameras that are installed all over the facility? And how he was able without any kind of resistance or usage of weapons or force to run to the plane carrying his bag, climb to its wheel bay and grab hold of a wheel without the control tower noticing his presence before the jet took off?

It is very clear that the man was moving inside the airport freely, relaxed and not paying any attention to the cameras or to security personnel measures. This simply means that the airport officials on all levels were either facilitating his mission or deeply sleeping.

By mere analysis based on logic and available facts one can hypothetically assume the following scenario:
The man was a Jihadist assigned by his terrorist superiors to explode the Saudi plane by putting a kind of sophisticated explosives (that can be detonated via a remote control) at the wheel bay after all the plane's checking and supplying procedures were over, and then to leave the wheel bay before the plane takes off. It is worth mentioning that a big pair of scissors fell from him when the plane took off and was found later on the runway. Apparently his superiors had an upper hand inside the airport and accordingly were able to guarantee and secure his free movement and facilitate his mission.  

Why he failed? Presumably his stumbling before reaching the plane disturbed his scheduled time span, made him very nervous and perhaps the explosives fell with the scissors and accordingly did not have enough time execute the terrorist act and to get down before the plane took off.

Why the scissors were only found and nothing else? Again presumably and hypothetically those who sent him and secured his free and unnoticed entrance would have collected all the stuff that he either left behind or fell from him on the runway. 

Hezbollah who might have assigned the man to carry the terrorist mission tagged him as mentally unstable, a camouflaging tactic the Egyptian government resorts to all the time to cover terrorists and Jihadists who assault Christians in Egypt. Meanwhile Lebanese newspapers said the man knew exactly what he was doing because two cigarette filters were found inside his ears to safeguard him from the plane's loud noise.

In his bid to abort and block any kind of investigation, Hezbollah's strong man, the airport's security chief, Brigadier General Wafiq Choucair, submitted his resignation to the Interior minister. The government will not dare to accept the resignation and will not risk to go through the hassle of appointing a replacement in which Hezbollah will have the last saying. 

Definitely the formal investigation in the incident is going to be faked and forged and no one shall ever know what actually happened because Hezbollah will not allow the Lebanese authorities to exercise freely their duties and responsibilities as was the situation in many previous similar circumstances.

This very serious incident sheds light on the Ethiopian plane disaster that exploded in last January a few minutes after taking off from Beirut airport and all of its passengers were killed. One wonders if the same tactic was used to explode it? 

In conclusion, this serious incident will remain a mystery with no answers while similar incidents will continue to take place as long as Hezbollah and not the Lebanese Government dominates, controls and runs the Beirut airport.

N.B: To read the Arabic version of the above editorial CLICK Here

*Elias Bejjani
*Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
*Web sites &
*Mailing phoenicia group