BEIRUT: Officials across the spectrum congratulated security forces on their security crackdown across the country Thursday, after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a Beirut hotel to avert capture during a raid the night before.
Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora offered his congratulations to the Lebanese security services for “the great effort exerted by them in their successive achievements over the past week in the protection of the Lebanese from the criminal acts of terrorism, which led to yesterday’s successful raid in the Duroy Hotel.”
“The repeated experience [of terrorism] of the Lebanese, including the experience this week, has shown that people carrying arms outside the frameworks of legitimacy and national consensus are behind the threats to Lebanon’s security and safety,” he said, adding that the legitimacy of official institutions and its elements were the only guarantors of Lebanon’s security.
Siniora said events and developments in Lebanon and the region had proven that March 14’s values were those needed to protect Lebanon’s distinctiveness, emphasizing that they aimed to represent all its citizens.
“They are the values that we must adhere to now more than ever,” Siniora said.
For his part, head of the Progressive Socialist Movement Walid Jumblatt said in a statement that the experience proved once more that “the Lebanese state, despite all of the divisions and the complex political situation, is strong and able to foil all these bombing schemes that are aimed at striking stability and weakening security.”
Jumblatt said the Lebanese government had proved itself as capable as other more advanced states in its ability to thwart terrorist attempts due to the high standard of security.
He called for citizens to not fall into the “trap of despair, but to always aspire for hope, joy and confidence in Lebanon.”
The Saudi Arabian Embassy released a statement condemning the incident in Raouche, saying “this work has no link to human or Islamic values, it represents an assault on the innocent and the holy.”
The Saudi Arabian Embassy went on to congratulate the Lebanese government on its successes in pursuing terrorist cells, wishing Lebanon security, prosperity and stability.
The French Embassy in Beirut, for its part, condemned attempts to compromise stability in Lebanon and reiterated support to state authorities and institutions, namely those in charge of security in their efforts to preserve national unity and stability.
It added that the planners of Thursday’s explosion should be apprehended and charged.
The head of General Security, Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, also praised the “cooperation between security forces and the political climate provided by the Cabinet, which resulted in successes until today.”
Speaking at a news conference, Ibrahim said such cooperation was “excellent.” He also stressed that the latest security incidents in Lebanon were related to the developments in Iraq and in Syria.
“What happened was the targeting of Lebanese security, the Lebanese people and stability in Lebanon,” he added.
“We as security forces are doing our duties, which our conscience dictates we do in the face of this threat. We have sworn loyalty to this country and this people when we graduated from military school, and we are keen on keeping this promise.”
Former President Michel Sleiman congratulated Ibrahim, saying that “in revealing a new terrorist plot, anticipating its implementation and arresting members of the responsible [terrorist] cell, the achievement of General Security is added to the achievements of the Army and Internal Security Forces.”
He stressed the necessity of investing in the security forces to speed up prosecution and to “sow terror in the hearts of the terrorists.”
Hezbollah MP Nawwar Saheli stressed Thursday that the party was cooperating with security forces to face the threat of terrorism, emphasizing “the triad of the Army, the Resistance and the people.”
“What happened yesterday [Wednesday night] in Raouche was a pre-emptive strike and we should all stand by the Army, General Security, State Security and the Internal Security Forces to face the terrorist plot,” Saheli said.
He said that takfiri terrorism was far from the teachings of Islam, adding that the resistance’s work centered on fighting takfiri plots.
“Had the resistance not intervened in Syria, we would have witnessed every day tens of rigged cars in Lebanon,” Saheli stressed, referring to Hezbollah’s involvement in the war next door supporting the Syrian regime.
“What we are witnessing from these takfiris is desperate behavior.”