Jamil Al Sayyed

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Jamil Al Sayyed
Born Jamil Al Sayyed
1950 (age 66–67)
al Nabi Eila, Lebanon
Nationality Lebanese
Occupation Military officer
Years active 1970s–present

Jamil Al Sayyed (born 1950) is the former head of Lebanon's Sureté Générale or Lebanese General Security Directorate. He was detained for four years, from 2005 to 2009, due to his alleged involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. He was released on 29 April 2009 due to "inconsistencies in the statements of key witnesses and of a lack of corroborative evidence to support these statements and to the fact that some witnesses had modified their statements and one key witness had expressly retracted his original statement incriminating the persons detained".[1][2][3] He was never charged with a crime.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Sayyed was born into a Shia family in the Bekaa village of al Nabi Eila, near Ablah, in 1950.[5][6][7] He graduated from al Hikmeh school in Beirut.[6]


After graduation from the Lebanese Military Academy in 1971, he was sent to France for a one-year military training course with the French Army. After his return to Lebanon he was assigned for two years as military trainer for cadet officers, then he was sent to the Egyptian Army in Cairo for a military course as antitank missile trainer before serving in the armored corps as commander of Anti-tank Autonomous Unit of the Lebanese Army in Beirut until June 1976.

Due to the civil war which started in Lebanon early 1975 and led to the division of the Lebanese Army into religious units, Sayyed refused to join any of them.

Later on September 1976 he decided to join the First Brigade in Bekaa, the Bekaa valley which remained the only multi- communitarian unit in the Lebanese army during the civil war under brigadier general Ibrahim Shaheen, who at that time and in coordination with other Christian, Muslim and Druze officers established the Vanguards of the Lebanese Army with the Syrian help against the Arab Lebanese Army formed composed of defected army units and headed by the defected Lt Ahmad Al Khatib who was backed by Palestinian Fatah Organization (PLO) and its Lebanese allies.

In 1978, after the reunification of the Lebanese army, Sayyed was assigned as head of the military intelligence branch of the First Brigade after it was reincorporated into the Lebanese Army and became army intelligence.[6][8] Next, in 1982, Major Jamil Sayyed was sent for a six months military intelligence course with the US Army in the USA, Arizona. He was back just after the beginning of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982,he was moved from his military intelligence post for few months. After the starting of the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon by mid 1983, Lt Colonel Sayyed was appointed as deputy then chief intelligence officer in the Bekaa Valley Region where he stayed in post until 1991.

From 1989 to 1990, within his functions as regional chief intelligence in Bekaa where PM Elias Hrawi was elected as President just after the assassination in Beirut on 22 November 1989 of the newly elected president Rene Moawwad, Sayyed was assigned for the protection of the new president until mid 1990 after he formed the temporary presidential guard unit.(Ref. Military Records) In 1991, Sayyed left his post in Bekaa Valley after being appointed as deputy Director of the military intelligence Directorate of the Lebanese Army .[9][10]

Six years later, in 1998, then Lebanese President Emile Lahoud appointed him as the director-general of the interior ministry's general security department.[5][11]

Sayyed was a member of the committee that was founded on 6 December 2000 to receive the Lebanese detainees from Syrian prisons and investigate their files.[12]

Resignation and Political Detention[edit]

Sayyed resigned from office on 25 April 2005[13] as a result of the heavy pressure from the anti-Syria opposition in Lebanon after Rafik Hariri's assassination on 14 February 2005.[7] He was one of seven officials whose resignations had been requested by the Lebanese opposition after the assassination.[14] These demands were initially not taken into consideration by Lebanese regime.[15] Wafiq Jizzini succeeded Sayyed as general security chief on 5 October 2005.[16]

- Few months after his resignation Sayyed was arrested on August 30, 2005 by Lebanese authorities for his alleged role in the assassination.He stayed four years in prison with no charges or accusation or trial.The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva considered in official report of its Work Team on arbitrary detention dated Nov. 30th, 2007, that his detention is arbitrary and violates articles 9 & 14 of the International Pact for Civil and Political Rights.[17] In the Annual Reports of 2006, 2007 and 2009 of the US Department for Human Rights Department, Sayyed was considered as an Arbitrary detained by the Lebanese Authorities.[18]

Post-release period[edit]

After his release unconditionally by the decision of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in April 2009,Sayyed was authorized by the Decision of the same Tribunal on May 12, 2011, to receive from the Tribunal the elements of proof related to the false witnesses who caused his arbitrary detention for 4 years in order to allow him to pursue them legally before national competent justices.[19]

After receiving from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon most of the documents related to the false witnesses and their partners who caused his arbitrary detention, Sayyed started different legal actions aiming to pursue them in and outside Lebanon, mainly the two Syrian false witnesses Moahamad Zouheyr Siddik and Hutham Hutham.

Within the detention period of Gl Jamil El Sayyed, the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva considered, in an official report of its Work Team on arbitrary detention dated November 30, 2007, that his detention was arbitrary and violated articles 9 & 14 of the International Pact for Civil and Political Rights.[17] In the Annual Reports of 2006, 2007 and 2009 of the US Department for Human Rights Department, Sayyed was considered as an Arbitrary detained by the Lebanese Authorities.[18]


  1. ^ "Jamil as-Sayyed". Now Lebanon. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Hariri's Damascus Trip Complicated by Syrian Warrants For Lebanese Officials". Wikileaks. 14 December 2009. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Muir, Jim (22 September 2010). "Deep divisions haunt Lebanese politics". BBC. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Lebanon Historical Chronology". Security Council Report. 9 March 2012. Archived from the original on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Lynch, Sarah (24 September 2010). "Who is Jamil as Sayyed?". YaLibnan. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Nassif, Daniel (March 2000). "Dossier: Jamil al-Sayyid". Middle East Intelligence Bulletin. 2 (3). Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Factbox: Lebanese generals ordered released by Hariri court". Reuters. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Élizabeth Picard (2012). Are Knudsen, Michael Kerr, ed. Lebanon in search of sovereignty: Post 2005 security dilemmas (PDF). CMI. pp. 156–183. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Salloukh, Bassel (Fall 2005). "Syria and Lebanon: A Brotherhood Transformed". Middle East Research and Information Project. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  10. ^ Gambill, Gary C.; Ziad K. Abdelnour; Bassam Endrawos (November 2001). "Dossier: Emile Lahoud". Middle East Intelligence Bulletin. 3 (11). Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Ghattas, Sam F. (25 April 2005). "Pro-Syrian Security Chief Resigns". Associated Press. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Report on Lebanese detainees in Syrian prisons" (PDF). Lebanese Information Center. August 2003. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Mallat, Chibli. Lebanon's Cedar Revolution An essay on non-violence and justice (PDF). Mallat. p. 123. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2012. 
  14. ^ Whitaker, Brian (26 April 2005). "Syrian intelligence chief abandons base as 29-year occupation of Lebanon ends". The Guardian. Beirut. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  15. ^ Harris, William (Summer 2005). "Bashar al Assad's Lebanon Gamble". Middle East Quarterly. 12 (3): 33–44. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Chronology: Lebanon". The Middle East Journal. 60 (1). Winter 2006. Retrieved 8 September 2013.  – via Questia (subscription required)
  17. ^ a b Report NO.37/2007 (LIBAN) of November 30, 2007 of the Work Team on arbitrary detention for the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights
  18. ^ a b US Department Annual Reports on Human Rights in Lebanon for 2007-2008-2009
  19. ^ decision of special Tribunal for Lebanon May 12, 2009 Pre-trial judge Daniel Frensen- Case No.: CH/PTJ/2011/08