Ali Al Hajj

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Ali Al Hajj
Born Ali Al Hajj
1955 (age 62–63)
Nationality Lebanese
Occupation Security Officer
Spouse(s) Samar Al Hajj
Children Salah Al Hajj, Jad Al Hajj
Military career
Rank Major General

Ali Al Hajj (born 1955) is the former major general and director of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.

Early life[edit]

Hajj was born into a Sunni family based in northern Lebanon in 1955.[1][2]

Career[edit]

Hajj was in charge of government protection for Rafik Hariri from 1992 to 1998.[1] He was removed from his post when Hariri discovered Hajj was also working for Syrian intelligence.[2][3] He was appointed the director general of the Lebanese internal security forces in 2004 by Interior Minister Suleiman Frangieh.[1][4] He stepped aside on 22 April 2005[5] and was replaced by Ashraf Rifi.[6] He was one of seven pro-Syrian officials whose resignations had been requested by the Lebanese opposition after the assassination of Hariri.[7][8]

Controversy[edit]

The first UN team investigating the Hariri assassination led by Irish deputy Garda Commissioner Peter Fitzgerald discovered that the wreckage of Hariri's six-car motorcade had been removed from the crime scene at midnight on 14 February 2005.[3] It was further found that other materials were not associated with the bomb placed in the massive crater.[3] The man responsible for doing so was allegedly General Ali Al Hajj.[9] It was also found that General Hajj after being appointed to the post as the head of the internal security forces reduced the number of state bodyguards of Hariri from 40 down to eight in November 2004.[10] The reason for this reduction was given to be a letter from then Lebanese president Emile Lahoud and then Lebanese prime minister, indicating that Lebanese law should be applied on all levels and in all matters.[10] According to a decree (3509 of 1993), the number of security staff for a person in the Hariri category should be eight.[10]

On 30 August 2005, the Lebanese authorities arrested and detained four high-level officials including general Jamil Al Sayyed, former head of the Lebanese general security (Sûreté Générale), general Ali Al Hajj, former head of the internal security forces, general Raymond Azar, former head of military intelligence; and general Mustapha Hamdan, commander of the republican guard brigade.[5][11] They were arrested at the request of German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, who was carrying out the UN investigation about the assassination.[1] The Mehlis report dated October 2005 quoted a witness stating that Jamil Al Sayyed cooperated closely with Mustapha Hamdan and Raymond Azar in the preparation of the Hariri assassination and that Hajj knew about the attack in advance.[1] However, later reports about the assassination did not repeat the allegations against these Lebanese generals.[1] Hajj and other generals were held in Roumieh prison, northeast of Beirut from 2005 to April 2009.[1][12][13] They were released from the prison upon the order of the Special Tribunal Lebanon pre-trial judge Daniel Fransen[14] due to lack of evidence.[12][15][16] They were not charged with any crime.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Ali Al Hajj is a Sunni Muslim.[1] He married a social activist Samar Al Hajj.[18] His son is Lieutenant Salah Al Hajj.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Factbox: Lebanese generals ordered released by Hariri court". Reuters. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Rola el Husseini (15 October 2012). Pax Syriana: Elite Politics in Postwar Lebanon. Syracuse University Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-8156-3304-4. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Fisk, Robert (11 January 2009). "Who killed Mr Lebanon?: The hunt for Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri's assassins". The Independent. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Ali Hajj says entitled to post of acting police chief". The Daily Star. 23 March 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Mallat, Chibli. Lebanon's Cedar Revolution An essay on non-violence and justice (PDF). Mallat. p. 122. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Lebanese Govt Removes Top Prosecutor, Security Chief". Arab News. 29 April 2005. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Whitaker, Brian (26 April 2005). "Syrian intelligence chief abandons base as 29-year occupation of Lebanon ends". The Guardian. Beirut. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Harris, William (Summer 2005). "Bashar al-Assad's Lebanon Gamble". Middle East Quarterly. XII (3): 33–44. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Lebanese fear new killings after bombing". UPI. Beirut. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c "Mehlis Report" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Report of the International Independent Investigation Commission established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1595 (2005)". Al Bab. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Jamil as-Sayyed". Now Lebanon. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "Jamil al Sayyed celebrates photos". USA Today. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Timeline Jamil al Sayyed". Special Tribunal for Lebanon. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Hariri's Damascus Trip Complicated By Syrian Warrants For Lebanese Officials". Wikileaks. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Muir, Jim (22 September 2010). "Deep divisions haunt Lebanese politics". BBC. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  17. ^ "Lebanon Historical Chronology". Security Council Report. 9 March 2012. Archived from the original on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  18. ^ "Samar al Hajj". Fanoos. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "Syria's embassy denies Hajj abducted a Syrian in Lebanon". Ya Libnan. 6 March 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2012.