Beirut: Armed Man Holds Bank Staff Hostage, Demands Savings

Photo: AP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, 42, entered a Federal Bank of Lebanon branch in Beirut with a firearm on Thurs., demanding to be given at least a portion of his roughly $200K savings. He held at least six people hostage in an hours-long standoff with Lebanese authorities.

  • Protesters gathered outside the bank in support of Hussein, chanting anti-bank and anti-government slogans, with some clashing with security forces and throwing water bottles at soldiers guarding the building.

The Spin

Narrative A

Hussein is a hero, and his actions represent the frustrations of an entire nation. Millions of Lebanese have been thrown into poverty by corrupt politicians and bank managers, and Hussein's actions are a form of retribution for this injustice.

Narrative B

While Hussein's actions may seem noble to some, he, like many others inside and outside Lebanon, is blaming the wrong people. It is the outside influence of Iran as well as Hezbollah that has pushed Lebanon to the brink, and the Lebanese people must acknowledge this to truly move forward and fix their country.

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