Lebanon: The Story of ‘Martyr’ Ahmad Qasir (أحمد قصير) [1963-1982]

Ahmed Qasir (Left) – Destroyed Israeli Headquarters in Tyre (Right) – 11.11.1982!

Translator’s Note: Ahmad Qasir (1963-1982) was born in the Lebanese town of ‘Deir Qanoon al-Nahr’ (a District of Tyre) and is believed to have been the first Islamic Resistance-Fighter to carry-out a ‘suicide’ mission (at around 7 am on November 11th, 1982). His esteemed surname is written in Arabic as ‘قصير’ which literally transliterates into English as ‘Qusayr’ and which is sometimes written as either ‘Kassir’, ‘Qassir’ or ‘Qasir’ – the latter of which I have selected. Furthermore, when his name is written in Arabic as ‘أحمد قصير’ – as Arabic script is read from right to left – in English his name would literally appear as ‘Qasir Ahmad’ (obviously, I have transposed this order as English script is read from left to right, etc). Whereas English-language accounts invariably state he was just ’17’ years old – Arabic accounts continuously state he was ’18 or 19′ when he died (the likelihood is that he was ’19’ years old when he died). Whilst Israeli tanks rampaged around the city, this action involved him single-handedly driving a small Peugeot car (packed with explosives) through a number of flimsy barriers and into the ground-floor of the seven-storey building used by the invading Israeli Army as its Headquarters – formerly the ‘Azmi Building’ located in the Jal al-Bahr region (used to govern the ‘Occupied’ Southern Lebanese city of ‘Tyre’)! The Israeli Military admitted the killing of 74 Officers and soldiers – including the Military Governor – with a further 27 ‘missing’ (this ‘low’ number is continuously trumpeted in Western sources in an attempt to ‘play-down’ the effectiveness of the attack). Days later, Israeli newspapers reported that the outcome of the operation had reached 141 dead – with just 10 missing! As there was tremendous secrecy surrounding this mission, it was not until May 19th, 1985, that Hezbollah held a celebration in the town of Deir Qanoon al-Nahr dedicated to the memory of its many martyrs. During the celebration, Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech in which he announced that the perpetrator of the first-ever suicide bombing (which successfully struck the Zionist military governor’s headquarters in Tyre) was a son of the town of Deir Qanoon al-Nahr – Ahmad Jaafar Qasir! The following is a translation of an Arabic article which conveys an interview the original author carried-out with the parents of Ahmad Qasir! Readers must bear in mind that this action was not aimed at the West – but rather ‘Zionist’ Israel – an occupying force the Lebanese population viewed as being ‘invaders’ of their own country, as well as the oppressors of the Palestinians! At this time, the USSR was supporting the greater Islamic cause against US-sanctioned ‘Zionist’ aggression in the Middle East – whilst the US was developing and spreading Islamo-fascism throughout the hinterland of Afghanistan! Islamo-fascism was designed by the US to overthrow the democratically elected ‘Socialist’ government of Afghanistan (which the Soviet Red Army came to defend between 1979-1989). Whereas wanton acts of brutal terrorism was the norm for the CIA-trained Islamo-terrorists (which involved the beheading of Red Army POWs with blunt knives) – the acts of legitimate ‘self-defence’ carried-out by such people as Ahmad Qasir must be interpreted in a completely different light! Whereas the CIA-trained Islamo-fascists routinely carry-out acts of ‘terrorism’ – the action of Ahmad Qasir (and many others) must be interpreted as legitimate acts of anti-imperialism! It must be remembered that ‘Zionist’ Israel has committed a long and continuous list of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity since its inception – with the US preventing War Crimes Tribunals due to Israel representing US interests in the region and effectively ‘destabilising’ the Middle East – preventing Arabs from uniting and becoming collectively strong! The Zionist Israelis were so shocked by this devastating attack that they still ‘lie’ about its origins today – attributing it to a massive gas-leak and consequential explosion! ACW (23.6.2022)

The parents of – Ahmad Qasir (their ‘Martyred’ son) – wrote on the ‘Islamic Resistance Website’:

“If our son comes back alive – then we will not hesitate to send him to the ‘Front’ again to continue the fight in the resistance! Muhammad Kasirwani – as soon as you enter the town of “Deir Qanun Al Nahr” in Southern Lebanon – every house should be the home of the martyr and fighter Ahmad Jaafar Qasir…!”

From the Northern entrance of the town to the house of Hajj Jaafar (his family home) and in all other places – you realize that the selfless actions of the martyr Ahmad Qasir had a great and uplifting effect upon the people of his village! His name adorns every wall, window and door, evoking memories and reminding everyone of his sacrifice! Everyone living in the town knows everything about Ahmad Qasir’s life story. That young man who was the first ever ‘martyr’ to die as a ‘suicide-bomber’ in 1982, has planted in each of them a truly positive story of will-power over-coming adversity that accompanies them wherever they go!. His family’s house, (which was reconstructed after the July aggression in 2006), bears witness to much of what Ahmad Qasir gave to the resistance!

The martyr – whose car bomb targeted the residence of the brutal Israeli (Zionist) invaders at the entrance to Tyre on 11/11/1982 – collected and hid essential equipment and weapons in all the spaces adjacent to the house!

And when his mother wanted to collect firewood for heating, she had to know which firewood she could carefully choose, so Ahmad Qasir masked the equipment and weapons which he ‘buried’ in the floor of the cellar of the house – covered with a layer of wood his mother knew never to be touch! Under a picture of Ahmad Qasir gathering with his two martyred brothers, Musa and Rabie, his father, Hajj Jaafar Qasir, sits and talks about the first hours of Ahmad’s arrival in Lebanon, after he had returned from Saudi Arabia, where he had been residing. Abu Musa says: “As soon as Ahmad returned from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon, I learned of his arrival from the Zionist Occupation Forces. They called me on that day and said that your son Ahmad Qasir is in Tyre and is causing riots, so go and stop him.”

He continues: “I went down to Tyre and saw Ahmad throwing stones at the Zionist Occupation Soldiers, and refusing to cross their checkpoints with Zionist traffic permits, refusing to let the occupation have a place in Lebanon! Then I caught my son and told him: Calm down, now is not the right time to fight the Zionists, they will kill you in cold blood. Ahmad looked at me and said: ‘A day will come and you will see what I will do to them, my dear father!'”

In his village language, the martyr’s father sums up Ahmad’s vision of the Zionists by saying, “What tried to take away from his mind – he would not let them take!” Ahmad was always in the Resistance even as a boy – and he was martyred at the age of 18 only – in an operation in which he killed more than 140 Zionist Officers and Soldiers! He truly carried the tendency of the Resistance since his childhood, says his father. In his day, the martyr had a vegetable store that he ran, but he refused to sell to the Israelis. Whenever they came to the shop, Ahmad quickly closed the door, saying: “We do not sell to the Israelis.” That young man who astonished the world with his operation, and who plunged the Zionists into mourning for its dead, has always fought battles against the Occupation Forces in his town, as the operations at that time were almost daily.

His mother, Umm Musa, confirms that since her son returned from Saudi Arabia until his martyrdom, the days he spent at home were almost counted on the fingers of two hands, as most of his time he was with the Resistance fighters. In a funny story that the martyr’s father relays, with a smile on his face and a tear in his eye, he says that “the martyr Ahmad, since the Zionists entered the town and put their racist slogans, flags and fascist banners on the roads, was keen that they did not stay in place for long. He took them down, broke them up and threw them away. Ahmad sometimes turned the road sign-posts put in place by the Israeli “Army” so that the Zionists got confused about which way to go and got lost, and then it becomes easier for the Resistance fighters to target them here and there, by setting ambushes!”

The picture of the martyr Ahmad and his two brothers is not the only one in the living-room of Jaafar Qasir’s house, the picture of the martyr leader Imad Mughniyeh is in the middle as well. Abu Musa raises his index finger towards the picture and says: “Hajj Imad, may God have mercy on him, was the one who prepared the car for my son Ahmad, and he organized the operation. He was with him until the last hours of his life.”

He drove the car with him to Tyre, and when they arrived near the military headquarters, Al-Hajj got out of the car, Ahmad entered the headquarters and blew himself up.” We ask about Ahmed before the operation, Abu Musa takes a deep breath and says: “Ahmed left the house two days before the operation and has not returned since.”

He continues: “After the operation, we did not know whether Ahmad was the perpetrator or not, so Ahmad had recommended that his name not be announced until his village was liberated from occupation, in order to preserve our safety. Those three years, between the operation and the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, – Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah – revealing the name of the perpetrator, were difficult for myself and his mother. We knew nothing in the interim.”

“Was he kidnapped, killed, or captured?!” The man in his seventies had tears in his eyes, and after a deep breath he continued: “We did not know where Ahmad was at the time.”

Abu Musa recounts how he used to go around all the places where Ahmad could be. He went to the Army Barracks, contacted everyone, asked family and relatives… But no one knew where Ahmad was.

On the day of the announcement of the name of the perpetrator of the bombing of the military governor’s headquarters, Hajj Jaafar describes himself as feeling as if he had come out of a deep well: “On that day I was very happy. I did not accept my son’s condolences at that time, but I did accept congratulations! To my soul, that day was as happy as my wedding.”

The martyr’s mother has a deep longing to see her son – Ahmad – again but she believes that death for the sake of Allah in a noble cause against the fascist Zionists is better than having her son die on his deathbed as an old man who did nothing in the face of tyranny! She cried a lot, but Ahmad created the path of self-sacrifice and was the master of all martyrs – al-Husayn (peace be upon him) – and therefore she would not hesitate to send her children, if they were alive, to the fronts of the Resistance, because jihad in her view is “the gate of honour and dignity.”

That woman who offered not ‘one’ but ‘three’ martyrs is in mourning for Hussein (pbuh) and Zainab (peace be upon him) – as she says – she cannot hide her feelings and sadness for her children when she visits them in the cemetery of the town, where the visit is almost daily.

She wipes the shrines with her hand and tears, and there “I remember my remaining children, and I pray for every Mujahid for steadfastness and victory.”

I leave the house of Ahmad Qasir, after hearing and seeing what gratifies the heart for myself and all the people living there! I am more convinced that this Resistance – which has been the most precious and valuable element in defending our land and its people – is paid for in a high cost that is required to defend the borders, protect the holy places and ward off the evils associated with fascistic Zionism! Ahmad Qasir (and his wonderful family) represent exactly what this fight and sacrifice is all about!

Arabic Language Sources:

أحمد قصير (Wiki-Arabia-UAE)

أحمد قصير ومنك ’يوم الشهيد’

أحمد قصير فاتح عهد الإستشهاديين في جنوب لبنان

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