Tag Archives: Lebanon

Lebanon: Americans arrested after Bekaa terror plot foiled

BEIRUT: Thirty suspects, including three Americans, have been arrested in east Lebanon after the Lebanese Army thwarted a major terror plot aimed at civilian and religious targets in Baalbek, local newspaper An-Nahar said Thursday.

The report said the suspects – including 24 Syrians, three U.S. citizens and three Koreans – were arrested late Tuesday after a raid on Syrian refugee camp sites in Telya plains in eastern Baalbek.

The suspects were taken to Beirut for further investigation, An-Nahar said.

The report said the foiled terrorist plot was aimed to target residential units and religious centers in northern Bekaa with “dozens of rockets” to be fired from the Telya plains.

The Daily Star could not independently verify the report.

The Lebanese Army has been engaged in a war against Syria-based militants from ISIS and Nusra Front entrenched along the northeastern border with Syria.

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Hezbollah repels ISIS attack on #Lebanon #Syria border

ISIS 2

AP-BEIRUT – Hezbollah gunmen repelled an attack Tuesday by Islamic State extremists in an area along the Lebanon-Syria border as a major battle between the two groups looms in the rugged mountainous region, Hezbollah’s TV station reported.

According to Al-Manar TV, ISIS targeted several Hezbollah positions outside the northeastern Lebanese border village of Ras Baalbek.

The ensuing battle left at least five ISIS fighters dead or wounded, including the group’s leader in the Qalamoun border region identified as Saudi national Walid Abdel Mohsen al-Omari, the channel said. It did not say whether there were casualties among Hezbollah fighters.

Al-Manar said Hezbollah also captured 14 ISIS bodies the militants were unable to retrieve.

 

 

ISIS and the Islamic State preparing to declare Islamic emirate in Lebanon

 ISIS is preparing military plans to declare an Islamic emirate in Lebanon very soon to serve as a geographical extension of the so-called “Islamic State” announced by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Iraq last year, security sources said.

ISIS fighters have demanded support from the militant group in northern Syria to achieve this goal, the sources said.

They added that the ISIS command has begun preparations to set up a military organizational committee tasked with running Lebanese affairs and considering Lebanon as part of its state.

However, ISIS is facing difficulties in choosing a Lebanese commander for this mission. The reported appointment of the fugitive preacher Ahmad al-Assir for this post was merely a trial balloon, the sources said.

They added that arrangements to form an ISIS command for the Lebanon emirate were taking place under the supervision of the group commander Khalaf al-Zeyabi Halous, codenamed “Abu Musaab Halous,” a Syrian who had played a key role in the ISIS offensive to capture the Raqqa province in 2013.

Abu Musaab Halous, accompanied by a number of ISIS military commanders, recently visited the Qalamoun region on the Lebanese-Syrian border, where he met with field commanders with whom he discussed the creation of security and military formations between Qalamoun and Lebanon, the sources said.

In addition to the fact that the adventure of setting up an Islamic emirate in Lebanon has not received the green light from the powers backing ISIS, the group’s attempt expand into Lebanon might be doomed to failure, the sources added.

In the meantime, an influential party in Lebanon has received important information indicating that ISIS is bent on recruiting more suicide bombers equipped with explosives belts to target Shiite gatherings in Beirut and the southern suburbs as well as French and Western interests, while the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, which was targeted with a deadly twin suicide attack in November 2013, is still vulnerable to another assault.

As Lebanon faces growing security threats, military assistance to the Lebanese Army is expected to be stepped up to help the country stand on its feet.

The United States will provide the Lebanese Army with six Super Cobra fighter aircraft as part of the U.S. military aid to the Army, reports said. The aircraft are manufactured by the Bell military helicopter company.

Also, sources close to the military establishment said that America had agreed to sell some F-5 fighter jets to the Lebanese Army in the next five months.

This coincided with official and party security reports that terrorist organizations, at the forefront of which are ISIS and the Nusra Front, are preparing to launch attacks deep into Lebanese territory, not only from the outskirts of the northeastern town of Arsal, but also from along the eastern frontier.

Manufactured by the Northrop company, the F-5 jets, first designed in 1950s and put into operation in 1960s, are used by some Arab armies. The aircraft has a range of 1,400 km with maximum speed of 1,700 km.

The U.S. has already provided aid to the Lebanese Army including armored vehicles, machine guns and ammunition warehouses, which the military needs in its battle against militant groups on various fronts along the common border with Syria.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 23, 2015, on page 3.

– See more at: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2015/Feb-23/288379-isis-preparing-to-declare-islamic-emirate-in-lebanon-sources.ashx#sthash.34flUKyT.dpuf

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