Senior Iranian Cleric Who Boasts of Being Godfather of Suicide Attacks: Injured in Embassy Bombing

Embassy Bomber ID’ed as Palestinian

November 21, 2013 16:12
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One of the suicide bombers from this week’s attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut is Palestinian, according to the Daily Star.

Michael Totten and NOW Lebanon look at Hezbollah’s fears of more suicide attacks. And the Times of London piles on with a new irony you gotta love. Issa Tabatabai, a senior Iranian cleric who boasted of being the “godfather of suicide attacks,” was among the injured in the embassy bombing:

In the past he has championed suicide bombing, or “martyrdom operations”. The cleric has bragged that he helped to give birth to the instrument of terror and was linked to a number of lethal attacks during Lebanon’s civil war, including the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy that killed 63 people and marked the beginning of Islamist attacks on American targets . . .

Suicide is haram (sinful) under Islamic law. However, in a 2010 interview, Mr Tabatabai said he had urged the Supreme Leader to bend the rules after Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982.

“A Lebanese Shia cleric issued a fatwa saying, ‘Under the present conditions, fighting Israel is like committing suicide and suicide is haram in Islam.’ I quickly hurried back to Tehran to see Imam Khomeini and told him about the fatwa,” Mr Tabatabai said.

To fight back against the Israelis, the cleric asked Khomeini if suicide bombing could be justified under Islamic law. “Imam Khomeini said, ‘No, this is not suicide, this is martyrdom, this is jihad [holy war], this is definitely permissible.’ This is how I got the fatwa on suicide bombings from the imam and how everything changed in Lebanon ever since,” Mr Tabatabai said.

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