“Tiny minority of extremists” update.
Of course his mom and dad and all his relatives will tell us that
“he is really such a nice kid and that he would never do a thing like that”
TERROR SUSPECT: Reigning Australian super flyweight boxing champion Ahmed Elomar, left, pictured beating Thailand’s Denchai Tiabkoon during their IBO Asia Pacific featherweight fight in 2005, is among four Australian Muslims arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of having links to terrorists.Â
Richard Kerbaj and Martin Chulov
AUSTRALIA’s reigning superfly boxing champion is one of four Australians detained in Lebanon on suspicion of being part of a terrorist cell.
Ahmed Elomar, who has fought alongside champion Anthony Mundine, was seized near Tripoli last Thursday with former Sydney financial adviser Ibrahim Sabouh, Ahmad Elomar and Mahammad Basal.
Meanwhile it has been reported that a former Sydney cabbie, Omar Hadba, who apparently reported the men when also arrested in the city was discovered at a workshop full of weapons.
Elomar, who fought on the undercard of the Anthony Mundine versus Danny Green bout last year, had left Sydney abruptly just weeks ago.
He also is also the nephew of Mohamed Ali Elomar, one of nine men charged with plotting a terrorist act in 2005.
Lebanese security authorities are interested in questioning former Sydney-based hardline cleric Faiz Mohammed in relation to the men, The Australian newspaper also reports today.
Elomar’s father, Abu Ahmed, has also told the newspaper his son went to Lebanon against his wishes.
“I knew it was the wrong time to travel and the wrong place. But I couldn’t physically stop him,” he said.
Friends said Elomar wanted to visit Lebanon because his wife, Najat, was eager to see her family back home.
Elomar and Najat have two sons – Mamdouh, 7, and Taha, 3.
Elomar’s close friend Fadi Rahman told The Australian that the boxer was one of the country’s most promising young fighters before he suffered an eye injury in a fight last year.
A FORMER Sydney taxi driver detained in Lebanon on suspicion of having links to terrorists has been identified as a possible leader of the al-Qa’ida-linked outfit, Fatah al-Islam.
A Tripoli car dealer who rents a shop next to a shed owned by Australian man Omar Hadba – where almost 500kg of military weapons were allegedly found hidden – said security officials had told him his neighbour was a leader of Fatah al-Islam, which has been locked in battle with the Lebanese military for weeks.
What the Australian doesn’t tell you:
THE small cell of Australians caught in the violence in northern Lebanon have two things in common.
They all lived in Sydney and were associates or followers of Australian-born Islamic radical cleric Sheik Feiz Mohammed.
At least four Australian passport holders, Ibrahim Sabouh, Ahmad Elomar, Mohammed Basal and Omar Hadba, remain in custody in Lebanon unable to speak with Australian diplomats after their arrest last week.
And officials still can’t confirm another former Sydney man, Bassem al Sayyed, and his Lebanese wife were killed or held when Lebanese troops raided an apartment building on Sunday at Abu Samra, Tripoli.
Sheik Feiz Mohammed is the former head of the Global Islamic Youth Centre at Liverpool in western Sydney and he now lives just a few kilometres from Abu Samra with his wife and six children.
The Sheik, 37, a graduate of Medina University in Saudi Arabia, left Australia after it was revealed he had produced hate videos urging Muslim parents to give up their children as martyrs for jihad.