Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Syrian state television aired the purported “confession” of members of what it described as a “terrorist cell” yesterday, who claimed that had been tasked by Lebanese Future movement MP Jamal al-Jarrah to incite unrest and carry out terrorist operations in Syria. State television also showed images of a weapons cache that it claimed belonged to this terrorist cell, although failed to reveal any information about how this cell was captured, or indeed provide any corroborative information implicating the Lebanese Future movement. Syrian state television showed a video of 3 individuals who claimed that they had received “financing, arms, and support from Lebanon” via Lebanese Future movement MP Jamal al-Jarrah. The alleged Syrian terrorists claimed that MP Jamal al-Jarrah had provided them with money and arms “in order to incite demonstrations and carry out terrorist operations [in Syria].”
Al-Jarrah denied the accusations made against him, telling Asharq Al-Awsat that “these are fabricated [accusations] made by the [Syrian] intelligence in order to implicate the Future movement in what is happening in Syria.” MP AL-Jarrah denied that he, or the Future movement that is led by caretaker prime minister Saad al-Hariri, have any connection to this terrorist cell, or what is happening in Syria. He told Asharq Al-Awsat that “I do not know any of the figures who appeared on the television report” and stressed that the Future movement has nothing to do with the events in Syria.
Future movement MP Jamal al-Jarrah also noted that “this campaign which accuses the Future movement of seeking to destabilize the situation in Syria, began internally with the March 8 Alliance, and has now been transferred to Syrian state television.” He stressed that “this is a campaign that coincides with caretaker prime minister Saad Hariri’s rejection of Iranian interference in Lebanese and Arab affairs.” He added “they are trying to create a kind of balance between Iran’s interference in our affairs, in order to say that we [the Lebanese] are interfering in Syrian internal affairs. All of this is taking place with Iranian – Syrian coordination with the March 8 Alliance.” He also reconfirmed “the Future movement’s commitment to Syrian security and stability, which directly influences Lebanese stability.”
In a statement issued yesterday, the Future movement stressed that none of its MPs have any connection to the unrest taking place in Syria, adding that “the accusation [made by Syrian state television] is aimed at harming the fraternal Lebanese – Syrian relations and embroiling the Future movement in affairs that do not concern it.”
The leader of the terrorist cell, Anas Kanj, told Syrian state television that he had received instructions from Future movement MP Jamal al-Jarrah, via a Muslim Brotherhood intermediary named Ahmad Audeh, to incite demonstrations and carry out terrorist attacks in Syria.
The televised confession began with Kanj introducing himself, saying “I was born in Damascus in 1982, and I work in the field of billboards in Housh Blas industrial city…I was arrested on Sunday 10 April .” He added “I formed a [terrorist] cell encompassing two members, namely Mohammad Bader al-Qalam and Mohammad Ahmed al-Sukneh. I heard this cell, under the name ‘the Syrian revolution’ which is aimed at moving the country from a bad situation to a better one.”
He added “we were recently tasked with a mission to launch an armed attack against al-Sbeineh Police Station in Damascus…taking advantage of the low level of security around it.”
He also claimed to have received orders “to instigate the people to go out for demonstrations, particularly around the Umayyad Mosque” as well as to “carry out operations in support of the people in Daraa and all the Syrian provinces such as Lattakia and Baniyas.”
Kanj claimed to have received these orders through “Ahmad Audeh, whom I knew for more than a year and a half and who acted as the messenger between myself and MP Jamal al-Jarrah in Lebanon.” He added “he [Audeh] told me that we must shoot at the demonstrators, the rally, and the young men who support President Bashar al-Assad.”
He also told Syrian state television that “Ahmed [Audeh] told me that there were other cells. I don’t know them…but he deals with those in charge of them…they have plenty of weapons which he brought through Lebanon.”