Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners

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The Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners – FLLF (Arabic: جبهة تحرير لبنان من الغرباء transliterated as Jabhat Tahrir Lubnan min al Ghurabaa' ) or Front pour la Liberátion du Liban des Étrangers (FLLE) in French was an obscure underground terrorist organization that surfaced in Lebanon at the early 1980s.

Origins[edit]

Very little is known about the FLLF, except it was formed in March 1977 in the predominantly Christian sector of East Beirut and had less than 200 members, presumably Christians, suspected of being trained and financed by the MOSSAD, Israel’s Intelligence Service.

Activities 1977-1984[edit]

The group made its début in July 1981 with a bomb attack on the PLO offices in Fakhani Road in West Beirut,[1] though it only reached the peak of its activities later in September by unleashing a spate of car-bombings that created havoc in the Muslim quarters of Sidon, Tripoli, Chekka and West Beirut until February 1982. In the latter case, the car-bombs were combined with a powerful command-detonated explosive device planted at a packed cinema – followed suit by another in early October – that left 300 civilians dead or wounded;[citation needed] other attacks undertaken that same month targeted Syrian troops of the Arab Deterrent Force, followed by a failed assassination attempt on the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon John Gunther Dean[2]

FLLF operations came to a sudden halt just prior to the June 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, only to be resumed the following year with four huge car-bomb attacks: the first one on 28 January 1983 struck a PLO headquarters at Chtaura in the Syrian-controlled Beqaa Valley, killing 40, coupled by a second on 3 February at West Beirut that devastated the Palestine Research Center offices and left 20 people dead.[3][4] A third bombing occurred on Syrian-controlled Baalbek on 7 August 1983, which killed about 30 people and injured nearly 40,[5] followed by another in 5 December 1983 at the Shiyah quarter of the Southern suburbs of Beirut that claimed the lives of 12 people and maimed over 80.[6]

The group ceased its actions shortly afterwards, though some observers believe that they remained active as late as mid-1984, but nothing was heard of them since.

Controversy[edit]

It is also possible that ‘FLLF’ was just a covert 'name of convenience' adopted by several Lebanon-based unrelated radical groups. Some attacks that were claimed by the FLLF did not fit the Christian Phalange profile, from the previously mentioned assassination attempt on the U.S. Ambassador in Beirut to several attacks on French interests, and an attack on the Israeli consulate and a Jewish club in Sydney, Australia.

The PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat accused the Israeli intelligence services of orchestrating the bombings claimed by the FLLF during the fall of 1981 though the veracity of such accusations remains unclear.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sudden Death: Bombings rock P.L.O. offices, TIME Magazine, 28 September 1981. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,953128,00.html#ixzz1Gs8wqZUY
  2. ^ O'Ballance, Civil War in Lebanon (1998), p. 111.
  3. ^ O’Brien, Campaign of Terror (1983), p. 26.
  4. ^ Middle East Record (MER), 2 October 1982, pp. 6-8.
  5. ^ O'Ballance, Civil War in Lebanon (1998), p. 126.
  6. ^ O'Ballance, Civil War in Lebanon (1998), p. 134.

References[edit]

  • Edgar O'Ballance, Civil War in Lebanon, 1975-92, Palgrave Macmillan, 1998. ISBN 0-333-72975-7
  • Lee O’Brien, Campaign of Terror: Car Bombing in Lebanon, MERIP Reports 118 (October 1983): pp. 23–26.
  • Rex Brynen, Sanctuary and Survival: the PLO in Lebanon, Boulder: Westview Press, 1990.
  • Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War, London: Oxford University Press, (3rd ed. 2001). ISBN 0-19-280130-9

External links[edit]