March 23, 2008

Brian Keenan's Return to Beirut

Brian Keenan was kidnapped in Beirut in 1986 by Islamic Jihad, a shadowy civil war-era organization often linked to Hizbollah.* He was released in 1990. The Sunday Times features an account of his first visit back to Beirut since his release.

*Hizbollah has traditionally disavowed any link with Islamic Jihad and that organization's kidnapping and bombing activities, but that's a little more difficult to do considering the way in which Hizbollah publicly embraced Imad Mughniyeh following his assassination. What does Abu Muqawama think? Well, it's a bit like a rugby player who represents his country one weekend, his club team another weekend, and perhaps Barbarians the next. Did Hizbollah as an organization bomb the USMC barracks or kidnap Brian Keenan or John McCarthy? Maybe not. But the actors were often the same, so trying to deny a connection to or knowledge of the acts is a little rich.