Carnegie’s Joseph Bahout is totally sure: “Sunni Arab Extremists” in Lebanon are really trying to be nice… In Lebanon
A bizarre comment of course (how many car bombs have been claimed by such groups in the last years here… and lets not forget the be headed army guys, those still held etc!) but sadly a part and parcel of the analyst crowd mainly based outside of the region that tries to make violent Sunni extremists look cute and nice… since, after all we are told, they are fighting Hezbollah and Iran (which are seen as the real threats to Israeli security in the region and secondarily US interests, so anyone fighting them are ok prima facia).
There is of course the less dominant, but wrong-headed, approach to view any Shiite or Iranian or Hezbollah action/group as ok because… they are fighting violent Sunni jihadists.
Both approaches are analytically deficient.
“…Sunni Arab extremists “are not seeking to cause violence [in Lebanon] — they are mainly concerned about Hezbollah,” said Joseph Bahout, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. “This has more to do with the ongoing battles in Syria. It’s more a Syrian issue than a Lebanese issue.”
“Were it not for Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria,” Itani said, “I don’t believe Lebanon would be a priority for these groups at all — at least not for now…”