BEIRUT: Authorities will begin implementing the security plan for Beirut and the Bekaa next month, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk announced in remarks published Tuesday.
“August will be the month to continue the security plan in Bekaa and Beirut, especially after the Cabinet scrapped wanted lists based on informants,” Machnouk told pan-Arab Al-Hayat.
“The government’s decision was a big relief for many people because there are thousands of names for people in the Bekaa and hundreds in Beirut.”
In April, the Lebanese Army, along with the country’s various security agencies, implemented a security plan to restore calm and order to the northern city of Tripoli. The plan was relatively successful in curbing clashes between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad, and led to the arrest of hundreds of armed men and militia commanders who took part in the sectarian fighting.
Last week, the Cabinet agreed to reconsider the basis of which wanted lists, created by the Army and General Security, are generated.
The lists first emerged during Syria’s tutelage over Lebanon, when security agencies would collect information about individuals via informants. The lists primarily targeted suspected Israeli collaborators and spies, as well as opponents of the Syrian government, and were used to arrest people arbitrarily without the legally required judicial warrant.
The decision to scrap the current names on the lists was largely aimed at easing the grievances of Sunnis following the spate of arrests in the security clampdown on Tripoli.
Machnouk said that the Ministers of Defense, Justice and himself would hold a meeting after the Eid Holiday to begin implementing the decision to abolish the lists, coinciding with the start of the security plan in the Bekaa and Beirut.
The plan in the Bekaa will aim at putting an end to the rising phenomenon of kidnapping for ransom, prevent armed groups from infiltrating the porous border with Syria and see the arrests of wanted individuals.
Security agencies have begun cooperating in the capital where reports of possible suicide bombings surfaced. Authorities were able to foil three suicide attacks in the country.