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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Sep 24th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Sader abduction may be linked to contacts with Israel by associate
Sader abduction may be linked to contacts with Israel by associate PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dalila Mahdawi and Carol Rizk - Dailystar   
Tuesday, 04 August 2009

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An-nahar report says guest of MEA employee called Israeli officials

BEIRUT: A Middle East Airlines (MEA) employee kidnapped earlier this year may have been abducted because of his links to a man who allegedly had contact with Israel, a Lebanese newspaper reported Monday. Joseph Sader, 56, worked as an Information Technology ex­pert for MEA and was abducted on February 12 on his way to work at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport, allegedly by three unidentified assailants who forced him into a sport utility vehicle. Soldiers from the Le­banese Armed Forces (LAF) who witnessed the abduction pursued the car, according to reports at the time, but heavy traffic forced them to abandon their chase.

Security sources told An-Nahar newspaper a Lebanese expatriate who originally came from Sader’s hometown of Darb al-Sim returned to Lebanon to distribute some of his property among the town’s locals, including the Sader family. Joseph Sader is said to have accompanied the unidentified expatriate to archaeological and religious sites during his stay in Lebanon. Upon returning to his country of residence, the man called Sader to inform him of his son’s wish to visit Darb al-Sim.

According to the sources, the son visited friends in Israel for a week before arriving in Leba­non. During his stay in Lebanon as a guest of Sader, the unidentified man allegedly called Israeli officials, the sources said, suggesting the calls prompted the MEA official’s abduction. Leba­nese security officials attempted to obtain information about the phone calls from the Telecommunications Ministry but failed, according to the paper.

Lebanese government and security officials have publicly said little about the Sader investigation since mid-February, when Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud said he was refraining from commenting on the case in order to protect the integrity of the case. Acknowledging the criticism lodged against the Interior Ministry and the Internal Security Forces for their secrecy over Sader’s disappearance, Ba­roud said they would remain silent until they had enough evidence to secure Sader’s release.

It is not clear what motive prompted the kidnappers to ab­duct Sader, who has been des­cribed by family and friends as apolitical. Shortly after his ab­duction, An-Nahar quoted high-ranking security sources as alleging that a “certain influential party” handed Sader over to army intelligence. The LAF promptly denied the report. According to Monday’s report, Sader was never detained by Lebanon’s security forces. No ransom demands have yet been made.



 
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