Lebanese army intelligence stand near a car rigged with explosives that was dismantled by military experts on the main Arsal-Labweh road, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)
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Three weeks ago, Khadija Awdeh found herself caught up in an alleged terrorist plot as a passenger in a rigged car driven by her aunt Joumana Hmeid, who was formally charged by Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr this week for involvement with Al-Qaeda-linked groups. Awdeh 's family is in disbelief over the charges, claiming there was no indication Hmeid was involved in anything untoward. Even before the formal charges have been filed, the family says it hasn't been permitted to communicate with her. Describing Hmeid as "friendly" and "not religious at all," Awdeh says she is still in shock that her aunt, the wife of her uncle, was implicated in a crime as serious as abetting a terrorist organization.On that sunny Feb. 13, Hmeid came to her niece's home with another cousin, Hala Rayed, who was seven months pregnant.The women were taken to Army Intelligence headquarters in Ablah, where they were interrogated for two hours.Military experts dismantled 50 kilograms of explosives from the Kia in Labweh and said it had been initially rigged in Syria.Eventually, Awdeh and Rayed were released by the authorities without charge.
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