Elias Murr

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Elias Murr
Elias Murr - 2007 photo
Born (1962-01-30)30 January 1962
Bteghrine  Lebanon
Nationality Lebanese
Religion Eastern Orthodox

Elias Murr (Arabic: إلياس المرّʾIlyās al-Murr) (born 1962) is a Lebanese politician who held different cabinet positions.

Early life and education[edit]

Murr was born on 30 January 1962 in Bteghrine. He is the son of former deputy prime minister and interior minister, Michel Murr.[1] He holds a law degree.[2]

Political career[edit]

From 2000 to 2005 Murr was deputy prime minister and minister of the interior and municipalities, replacing his father Michel Murr.[3] During his ministry, Murr was appointed acting minister of foreign affairs.[citation needed] In 2005 Suleiman Frangieh succeeded him.[3] In 2004 Murr owned an HSBC account, which was held through a company called Callorford Investments Limited, and by 2006-2007, the account contained USD $42 million, according to the 2015 Swiss Leaks based on the 2007 hacked HSBC account records from whistleblower Hervé Falciani. Murr denies that the account was connected to his political role.[4]

Murr took part in many negotiations with the United Nations.[5] and oversaw the deployment of 25,000 soldiers for the implementation of UNSC resolution 1701, preserving the cease fire mandated by the international community.

Murr oversaw[when?] the drafting and signature of the International Labor Organization [1] at the convention to execute the Action program to protect working children and to combat and eliminate child labor. Murr oversaw the conclusion of bilateral cooperation agreements on security, civil defense and judicial matters with numerous partner nations.[citation needed]

Murr supports international police cooperation, and served from 2000-2004 as President of the Arab Interior Minister Council, which coordinates internal security and crime fighting among Arab nations.[2].

In 2010, Murr was a member of the Lebanese National Dialogue committee.[3]

In October 2013, Murr was appointed as the first President of the Board of the recently established Interpol Foundation For a Safer world [4], which aims to strengthen the capabilities of Interpol to fight money laundering, organized crime and financing of terrorism. [5]

Business activities[edit]

In parallel with his political endeavors, Murr spent the past twenty years at the helm of "Group Murr", founded in 1957 by his father as a construction company [6] operating in the public works sector. By 1992, the company implemented projects worth an estimated overall value of US$ 2 billion, and now[when?] holds more than 25 companies [7] operating across three continents and a wide range of segments of the international market, including: Construction, real estate and resort development, Engineering, Consumer products, Aviation services, Security, Commercial services for the shipping industry. Murr also serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Al Joumhouria News Corporation [8], the publisher of one of Lebanon’s leading daily newspaper and of several other thematic periodicals. After stopping publications throughout the Lebanese civil war, under H.E. Murr’s leadership the Al Joumhouria newspaper [9] saw its rebirth in 2011, and became the first Lebanese newspaper to embrace new media, by developing proprietary mobile applications, push notifications, and developing an award-winning [10] website for its digital edition.

Accusations of sabotage[edit]

In December 2010 WikiLeaks revealed[6][7] that Murr had offered advice in 2008 on how Israel could defeat Hezbollah if a new war erupted on Israel's northern border.[8] Murr "displayed clear sectarian bias in advising Israel not to attack the Christian areas of the country while apparently having no qualms about bombs falling on the heads of Shia civilians". He is quoted as having said:

“Israel would do well to avoid two things when it comes for Hizballah One, it must not touch the Blue Line or the UNSCR 1701 areas as this will keep Hizballah out of these areas. Two, Israel cannot bomb bridges and infrastructure in the Christian areas. The Christians were supporting Israel in 2006 until they started bombing their bridges. If Israel has to bomb all of these places in the Shia areas as a matter of operational concern, that is Hizballah's problem.”[7][9]

Personal life[edit]

Elias Murr married to Émile Lahoud's daughter Karine in 1992[1][10] and has three children, Michel, Maria and Emile. On 12 July 2005 Murr was wounded in an explosion in the city of Antelias 5 km north of Beirut.[11] Al Jazeera reported two other people with injuries[citation needed], Police stated one killed and a dozen injured.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Abdelnour, Ziad K. (June 2003). "Michel and Elias Murr". Middle East Intelligence Bulletin 5 (6). Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Biography for Elias Murr". SILObreaker. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Ferran Izquierdo Brichs (27 November 2012). Political Regimes in the Arab World: Society and the Exercise of Power. Routledge. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-136-24087-4. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Gerard Ryle, Will Fitzgibbon, Mar Cabra, Rigoberto Carvajal, Marina Walker Guevara, Martha M. Hamilton and Tom Stites (8 February 2015). "Banking Giant HSBC Sheltered Murky Cash Linked to Dictators and Arms Dealers". 
  5. ^ Press release UN
  6. ^ "Al Akhbar Newspaper publishes US cables". Ya Libnan. 3 December 2010. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Sison, Michele J. (11 March 2008). "Min Def worried that Hizballah war with Israel imminent". WikiLeaks/Al Akhbar (Lebanon). WikiLeaks cable:08BEIRUT372. Archived from the original on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Lebanon defense minister "offered invasion advice for Israel"". Ha'aretz. 3 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Amiri, Rannie (10 December 2010). "A Damning Wikileaks Revelation - The Story of Elias Murr, Saboteur". CounterPunch. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  10. ^ الياس المر.. سياسي مسيحي عمل في ظل سوريا ووالد زوجته لحود Ad Doustour
  11. ^ "President Lahoud's Son-in-Law Elias Murr Survives Assassination Ambush". Naharnet. 12 July 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2009.