BEIRUT — In the cramped, working-class neighborhood of Tariq al-Jdeideh, Beirut’s last pocket of Sunni control, the walls tell the story of a community in the throes of a potentially profound transformation. Faded portraits of the mainstream Sunni leader Saad Hariri, left over from the last crisis that engulfed Lebanon, are gradually being eclipsed by a newer symbol, the black flag inscribed with the Islamic creed that is often linked to the global al-Qaeda franchise. The young Sunni fighters who describe themselves as the defenders of the neighborhood disavow affiliations or even sympathies with the extremist organization. Indeed, they say they have no connections to any group at all, including Hariri’s Future Movement, ostensibly the largest Sunni political faction in Lebanon. [Link]