Samir Geagea
Lebanese politician and war lord
Samir Geagea
Samir Farid Geagea is a Lebanese politician. He is also a senior figure in the March 14 Alliance, alongside Saad Hariri and Amine Gemayel. He took leadership of the Lebanese Forces in 1986. After the civil war, there was increased pressure by Syria on Geagea to accept the Syrian presence or face charges. Prior to his arrest, he was contacted by several sympathetic politicians and warned about the forthcoming proceedings and offered safe passage out of Lebanon.
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Can Hariri Co-exist with a Strong Christian President in Lebanon?
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In potentially the most abrupt U-turn in Lebanese politics since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in February 2006 between Hizbullah's Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and the Free Patriotic Movement's former-PM General Michel Aoun, Lebanese Forces leader Dr. Samir Geagea stunned his March 14 allies by endorsing (see video below) Aoun's nomination for the Lebanese Presidency on the 20th of January 2016. Lebanon has been without a President since May 2014. As per Lebanese custom, the President should be Maronite (Eastern Catholic) and is elected by the convening of Parliament with a minimum of a two-thirds quorum. This quorum has been unavailable since Aoun (backed by March 8 coalition) has refused to send his parliamentary bloc without the assurance that he - or someone he nominates - is elected as President. Geagea's endorsement does not necessarily mean that Aoun enjoys majority support in Parliament. The Lebanese Forces currently hold 8 seats (this is expected to incre ...
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Huffington Post article
Lebanon speaker says Christian tie-up not enough to secure presidency: paper
Yahoo News - about 1 year
The influential speaker of Lebanon's parliament has cast doubt on whether the reconciliation of the country's rival Christian leaders will help the country install a new president after nearly two years with the post empty. In a surprise move, Christian politician Samir Geagea declared support for 80-year-old rival Michel Aoun for presidency on Monday, edging him closer to the position. Aoun is part of the March 8 alliance dominated by the Iranian-backed Shi'ite group Hezbollah.
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Yahoo News article
In Surprise Move, Bitter Political Rivals in Lebanon Announce Deal
NYTimes - about 1 year
Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces party, threw his support behind the presidential candidacy of Michel Aoun, whose Free Patriotic Movement is Hezbollah’s main Christian ally in Parliament.
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NYTimes article
Squabbling Politicians Push Lebanon to Sectarian Brink
Huffington Post - over 1 year
BEIRUT -- Lebanon's destructive civil war ended a quarter century ago. The capital has been rebuilt. New buildings are rising and shoppers throng luxury shops. Trendy young Lebanese fill restaurants and bars at night. Lebanon is the Middle East's only melting pot. Never has the region more needed a peaceful oasis. However, the country is a sectarian volcano. Barely a generation ago Lebanon was torn apart in a bloody civil war which drew in America for a short time. Today cars race by buildings damaged still. Bullet pockmarks subtly mark many structures, including where I stayed. The capital is but a short drive away from the Syrian imbroglio. A fourth of Lebanon's current population is refugees. The Shia Hezbollah movement acts as a state-within-a-state, confronting Israel to the south and anti-Assad insurgents to the east. Sunni radicalism is growing. The minority Christian community has broken apart, creating political deadlock and paralyzing the government. The country faces wa ...
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Huffington Post article
Is the Syrian Crisis Being Leveraged to Weaken Hezbollah?
Counter Punch - over 4 years
Beirut. One would be correct in imagining that life’s no bowl of cherries for Hezbollah these days. Pressures, often intense, resulting in being sucked into the vortex of the powerful maelstrom and violent whirlpool of Lebanese and regional politics can’t be bringing much pleasure to Lebanon’s National Resistance led by Hezbollah and that includes this observers Dahiyeh neighborhood. Following their one on one meeting last weekend, US secretary of state Clinton and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogon Hezbollah are seeking to intensify pressure on both Hezbollah and Syria. One project is reported to be US instructions to their March 14 allies to force a vote in Lebanon’s Parliament allowing the deployment of international troops along Lebanon’s northern border with Syria. Some March 14 politicians have been publically calling for the deployment of an international force positioned along the poorly demarcated border between Lebanon and Syria. These US-Saudi supported forces have also ...
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Counter Punch article
Daily Star: Geagea: Christians must spearhead change
Pew Forum - almost 5 years
The Christians of the Middle East should not view with trepidation the turmoil engulfing the region over the past 18 months, Syria especially, but should instead seize the initiative to advance change and ensure communal survival, says Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.
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Pew Forum article
Geagea links Hezbollah, FPM to his attempted assassination
Ya Libnan - almost 5 years
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said on Wednesday that “Hezbollah and the leadership of the Free Patriotic Movement are either [directly or indirectly] involved in the assassination attempt” against him “by misleading the investigation and helping the perpetrators.” On April 4 the Lebanese Forces leader survived an assassination attempt when he was shot at by “snipers” as he was walking with bodyguards outside his residence in Maarab. The bullets reportedly left holes in the wall of his house. Geagea told al Arabiya last month the attack was the work of a very professional organization and not the work of individuals , but did not name the organization adding , “according to preliminary investigations at least six people are estimated to have taken part in the attack”. Geagea told al Arabiya the rival camp ( Hezbollah -led March 8 ) and its regional backers ( Iran and Syria) “has an interest” in eliminating him from the political scene adding that his “attempt to put the Chr ...
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Ya Libnan article
Feltman stressed US commitment to Lebanon, report
Ya Libnan - almost 5 years
US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman who arrived on Tuesday met with senior officials on Wednesday to discuss the political, economic, and security situation in Lebanon, as well as the developments in Syria, a statement issued by the US embassy reported. On Wednesday Feltman and US Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly met with Speaker Nabih Berri in Ain el Tinah, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Maronite Bishop of Beirut Boulous Matar, and a number of March 14 officials Feltman and Connelly also visited Baaqline, el Chouf to convey their condolences for the passing of Druze Spiritual leader Sheikh Abu Mohammad Jawad Walieddine. The US envoy expressed his country’s “steadfast support for pluralistic and democratic governments in the region that protect the rights of all citizens, including ethnic and religious minorities.” According to the statement Feltman also renewed the United States’ “commitment to a stable, sovereign and indep ...
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Ya Libnan article
Lebanon bids farewell to the Druze spiritual leader
Ya Libnan - almost 5 years
Tens of thousands from Lebanon and the region gathered on Saturday in the town of Baaqlin in the Chouf region of MT Lebanon to bid farewell to Sheikh Abu Mohammad Jawad Walieddine, the highest spiritual authority in the Druze community who died Friday morning at the age of 96. Mourners included the Druze Sheikh al-Aql Naim Hassan and hundreds of dignitaries from Lebanon and the region including  the representative of the President of the Republic Minister Chakib Cortbawi, representative of the  Speaker of the parliament  Ghazi Zaiter, Representative of the Prime Minister WalidDaouk,  former Lebanese President  and current leader of  the Lebanese Phalange Party  Amin Gemayel, the  Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt, ministers   Wael Abu Faour, Ghazi Aridi, Ala Tru, MPs Marwan Hamadeh, Akram Chehayeb, Talal Arslan , Mohammed Hajjar representing former PM Saad Hariri , Fouad Saad, Fadi El-Habr, Strida Geagea,George Adwan, Eli Queiroz,    Tawhid Arab  party  leader Wiam ...
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Ya Libnan article
[Ticker] Report: Lebanese assassins used Austrian-made sniper rifle
Euro Observer - almost 5 years
Lebanese daily An Nahar reports the would-be assassins of politician Samir Geagea on Wednesday used an Austrian-made Steyr HS .50 rifle. Austria sold 800 of the guns to Iran in 2006 despite international criticism. Steyr HS .50s were in 2007 also used to kill British and US soldiers in Iraq.
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Euro Observer article
Will Assad Return To Killing Lebanese Leaders?
Council on Foreign Relations - almost 5 years
Throughout the past decade there have been a series of assassinations and attempted murders of political leaders in Lebanon. Almost all of these plots have one common element: the person whose life was threatened or taken was anti-Assad, and just about everyone in Lebanon believes Syria was behind or involved in the wave of violence. Former prime minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated by a truck bomb in February 2005. In June, the prominent journalist Samir Kassir of the newspaper al Nahar was murdered , the first of a series of Christians who were attacked. A bomb was placed in his car. In December 2005 Gebran Tueni, publisher of al Nahar, a Christian member of parliament and relentless critic of Assad, was killed by a remote-controlled car bomb. In June 2006 the Christian cabinet member and critic of Syria Pierre Gemayel, from one of the leading Maronite families, was gunned down. In June 2007 Walid Eido, a Sunni affiliated with the Hariri-led “March 14 movement” and a critic of S ...
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Council on Foreign Relations article
Charbel says he requested Geagea to stop discussing Lasa incidents - NOW LEBANON
Google News - over 5 years
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said in remarks published Friday that he requested Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea to “stop addressing the case of Lasa” because the government is dealing with the events in the Jbeil town. In August, the residents
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Google News article
Geagea says Hezbollah sounds guilty in Hariri murder case - NOW LEBANON
Google News - over 5 years
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said on Tuesday that Hezbollah is accusing itself of murdering former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri by contesting the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which is probing the ex-premier's 2005 assassination
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Google News article
Geagea: Government fate linked to Syria unrest - The Daily Star
Google News - over 5 years
BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea accused Wednesday Prime Minister Najib Mikati's government of being controlled by Hezbollah and Syria, saying that its fate was linked to the unrest in Syria. “The events in Syria will affect the life of this
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Google News article
Geagea says Nasrallah cannot impose his ideology, policy on Lebanese - NOW LEBANON
Google News - over 5 years
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea condemned on Saturday the speech held by Hezbollah's Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday night. Geagea told Al-Markaziya news agency that Nasrallah cannot impose on the Lebanese sate and people his policy
Article Link:
Google News article
Geagea addresses violations of Maronite Patriarchate property - NOW LEBANON
Google News - over 5 years
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea addressed violations against the Maronite Patriarchate property in Lasa, Jbeil, in a meeting with a delegation representing the towns of Jbeil, according to a statement issued by Geagea's press office on Thursday
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Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Samir Geagea
  • 2014
    Age 61
    In 2014, Samir Geagea declared his candidacy for the Lebanese Presidential elections to succeed President Michel Suleiman whose 6-year term was to end on 25 May 2014.
    More Details Hide Details Geagea enjoys the comprehensive political backing of the March 14 Alliance for the presidency. Videos
  • 2008
    Age 55
    In March 2008, he held talks in the USA with officials at the White House, including then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, then NSA Stephen Hadley and then chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia Gary Ackerman.
    More Details Hide Details On 4 April 2012, at 11h30-11h33 am, gunshots were heard in Geagea's Ma'arab Complex. Geagea's security forces scouted the area, and found shells belonging to a 12.7 caliber sniper rifle, a high-tech rifle produced only by the United States and/or Russia, not available in the Lebanese infantries, the Lebanese Armed Forces or the black market, suggesting that the gun could only be obtained by one powerful party. Speculators claim the perpetrators to be pro-Syrian forces, most likely Hezbollah. Account of the story, as described in the press conference immediately following the attempt, claim Geagea to have been walking outside in the garden surrounding his mansion. Geagea bent over to pick up a flower, while bent over, Geagea heard gunshots, and immediately lay low on the ground, while his security forces took care of the situation. At the location where the shot would have killed him, two bullets had pierced through the wall. They claim the shooters to have been at least a kilometer away, stationed west of the residence (but the body guards were unable to see them due to the thick trees), and the operation to have been planned for months to silence Geagea, the only strong vocal critic against the Syrian/Iranian forces and the incumbent government. The Lebanese security forces have uncovered that a nine-member assassination team divided into three groups was involved in the killing attempt; two of the three groups were in charge of firing on Geagea.
  • 2007
    Age 54
    On 30 June 2007, he moved to a new residence in "Me'arab", Keserwan. On the Lebanese political scene, Geagea and the LF are considered to be the main Christian component of the March 14 Alliance. In September 2008, Geagea pronounced in front of thousands of rallying supporters in Jounieh a historical apology.
    More Details Hide Details The apology read:
    Internationally, Geagea tried to renew his relations with influential countries such as the United States and France. On 19 March 2007, he met then French president Jacques Chirac in the Élysée Palace.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2006
    Age 53
    He returned to Lebanon on 25 October (his birthday), and lived in the Cedars region, his ancestral home, in northern Lebanon until 11 December 2006, after which he moved to a hotel in Bzoummar in Keserwan.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2005
    Age 52
    The Lebanese Parliament passed an amnesty bill on 18 July 2005 to free Samir Geagea.
    More Details Hide Details Given the sectarian balance of Lebanon, three dozens of Islamist criminals were released with Geagea. The bill was subsequently signed by the then president Émile Lahoud. Geagea was released from prison on 26 July 2005 and left Lebanon for medical care.
    When supporters of the Cedar Revolution won the majority in the 2005 parliamentary elections, they lobbied for an amnesty law to free Geagea from his disputed sentences.
    More Details Hide Details
    Following the Cedar Revolution, and the subsequent withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, a newly elected Lebanese Parliament voted to grant him amnesty on 18 July 2005.
    More Details Hide Details A Saudi cable leak from WikiLeaks revealed that the LF was going bankrupt in 2012, because of that he requested financial help from Saudi Arabia and said according to ambassador that he was "ready to do what the kingdom asks me to do". Geagea was born in the Ain el-Rummaneh district in Beirut on 25 October 1952 to a modest Maronite family from the town of Bsharri in northern Lebanon. His father, Farid Geagea was an adjutant in the Lebanese Army. He attended "Ecole Bénilde" elementary and secondary school in Furn el-Chebek, which was a free private school. With the aid of a scholarship from the Khalil Gibran association, he studied medicine at the American University of Beirut and then at Saint Joseph University.
  • 1994
    Age 41
    On 23 March 1994, the Lebanese government ordered the dissolution of the LF and Geagea's deputy Fouad Malek was taken into custody.
    More Details Hide Details Geagea himself was arrested on 21 April 1994, on charges of ordering the church bombing, of attempting to undermine government authority by "maintaining a militia in the guise of a political party", of instigating acts of violence, and of committing assassinations during the Lebanese Civil War. He was accused of the assassinations of former prime minister Rashid Karami, National Liberal Party leader Dany Chamoun and his family, and former LF member Elias Al Zayek. He was also accused of attempting to kill Minister Michel Murr. He was acquitted in the church case but given four life sentences in the other cases. Amnesty International criticized Samir Geagea's trial and conviction, citing that it was politically motivated and unjust. Geagea was incarcerated for 11 years in a small windowless solitary cell in the third basement level of the Lebanese Ministry of Defense in Yarze. His health status was jeopardized and he lost weight dramatically due to the unsanitary condition of the ill lit and poorly ventilated prison cell. He was deprived of access to media and the outside world and was only allowed to see his wife and close relatives. All of Geagea’s conversations were monitored and he was barred from talking politics with anyone.
    In 1994, four years after the end of the Lebanese Civil War, Geagea was tried for ordering four political assassinations, including the assassination of Lebanon's Prime Minister Rashid Karami in 1987, and the unsuccessful attempted assassination of Defense Minister Michel Murr in 1991.
    More Details Hide Details He denied all charges, but was found guilty and sentenced to four death sentences, each of which was commuted to life in prison. Geagea was imprisoned in solitary confinement below the Lebanese Ministry of Defense building in Beirut for the next 11 years. He is the only Lebanese militia leader to have been imprisoned for crimes committed during the Lebanese Civil War.
  • 1992
    Age 39
    In addition to being the LF leader, Geagea retained his seat in the Kataeb Politburo. In 1992, he ran for the Kataeb presidential election but lost to Georges Saadeh with whom the conflict grew.
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  • 1990
    Age 37
    On 13 October 1990, Syria ousted General Michel Aoun from the presidential palace in Baabda.
    More Details Hide Details Aoun was heading an interim government which filled the void in the absence of a presidential election after the end of President Amin Gemayel's term in office. With Aoun out of the picture, Geagea was now the only leader in the Christian heartland. Geagea was subsequently offered ministerial portfolios in the new Lebanese government (formed on Christmas Eve).
    The Syrians exploited the vulnerabilities of the amnesty law promulgated by then president Elias Hrawi for all the crimes and atrocities committed before 1990. This law also stated that any crime committed after that date will void the effect of the amnesty. On 27 February 1994, a bomb exploded in the Church of Sayyidet Al Najet (Our Lady of Deliverance) in the locality of Zouk killing 9 worshipers and injuring many.
    More Details Hide Details It is unknown who perpetrated the bombing and it was ultimately attributed to some shadowy groups, but Samir Geagea was accused of the crime solely for the purpose of voiding the effect of the amnesty law of which he benefited, in the same way as all political and militia leaders from other communities and regions were benefiting despite their many unspeakable crimes throughout the Lebanese civil war.
  • 1986
    Age 33
    On 15 January 1986, Geagea became head of the Lebanese Forces after overthrowing Hobeika, who was widely accused of treachery in the Lebanese Christian sector for agreeing to a Syrian-sponsored accord (the Tripartite Accord).
    More Details Hide Details During the following year, Geagea meticulously rebuilt the LF into an organized, well trained and equipped military force, one of the most advanced forces ever on Lebanese soil. He established social security and public services to fill the void that was created by the war-crippled state administration. He also extracted taxes from the Christian region, offered free open-heart operations and twinned Christians cities with foreign cities in Europe and America and tried to open an airport in the Halat region because the Beirut International Airport (located in the west suburb of Beirut) was under the control of the Syrian forces which made the access for Lebanese Christians almost impossible.
  • 1985
    Age 32
    On 12 March 1985, Geagea and Elie Hobeika orchestrated an internal coup in order to end the leadership of Fouad Abou Nader in the Lebanese Forces.
    More Details Hide Details Abou Nader was considered to be too close to his uncle, president Amin Gemayel whose policies were not accepted by most LF leaders.
  • 1982
    Age 29
    From 1982 to 1983, Geagea commanded the Lebanese Forces against Walid Jumblat's Progressive Socialist Party militia, the Palestinians, and the Syrians in a battle for control of the Chouf mountains in central Lebanon.
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  • 1975
    Age 22
    He was an active member of the right-wing Phalangist Party, which became the main Christian fighting force upon the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975. He is married to Sethrida Geagea. Geagea steadily rose through the ranks and led several operations at the request of Bachir Gemayel, then commander of the Phalangist Kataeb Regulatory Forces militia. In June 1978, following the murder of a Phalangist party leader in the North Lebanon called Joud el Bayeh in a power struggle with former president Suleiman Frangieh, Bachir Gemayel ordered Geagea and Elie Hobeika to co-lead a unit to capture the suspects who were taking cover in Frangieh's mansion in Ehden.
    More Details Hide Details The incident is known as Ehden massacre. The attacking force (which somehow went past over dozens of Syrian army checkpoints) was met with resistance on the outskirts of Ehden where Geagea was hit. He was transported to Beirut and admitted to Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Achrafieh, Beirut where ironically he was doing his internship. His right hand was partially paralyzed and he never continued his education. Meanwhile, the military operation resulted in the murder of Tony Frangieh and his family. Geagea was later transported to a hospital in France. Geagea was appointed head of the Lebanese Forces' militia northern Front in the early 1980s, where he commanded around 1,500 battle-hardened soldiers, drawn mainly from his native town of Bsharri and other towns and villages in Northern Lebanon. Geagea led his men in fierce battles against the Syrian Army in El-Koura, Qnat.
    After the outbreak of civil war in 1975, Geagea interrupted his five years studies at the American University of Beirut.
    More Details Hide Details Although he would later continue his studies at Saint Joseph's University for two years, successfully completing his MD, Geagea never practiced medicine.
  • 1952
    Born on October 25, 1952.
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