The Lebanese army’s Feb. 12 arrest of Palestinian Naim Abbas, a leader of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades, led to great relief among the Lebanese in general and the inhabitants of Beirut’s southern suburbs and the Hermel region in particular. This arrest followed a recent spate of terrorist bombings that targeted those two areas. But the twin suicide bombings against the Iranian Culture Center and its surroundings on the morning of Feb. 19 dissipated this optimism and signaled the return of fear, caution and sadness to the southern suburbs.
The latest twin suicide attacks against the Iranian Culture Center took the lives of seven people and injured more than 100 others. Yet, no center employees were wounded. The victims were mainly inhabitants of the area, passersby and a few children from the orphanage of the Islamic Foundation, a well-known Sunni charity.