BEIRUT: A number of Beirut hotels have agreed to inform a prominent Lebanese security apparatus about suspicious occupants, security sources told The Daily Star Thursday.
The move comes amid a wave of suicide bomb attacks in the country. The two bombers who struck the Iranian Embassy in Beirut last November spent their final night in an upmarket hotel in the capital.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said that as a result of the agreement, the security body was informed about three residents from the Bekaa Valley town of Arsal who had checked into one of Beirut’s luxury hotels Tuesday. Two of them were from the Hujeiry family and the third was from the Fliti family.
Upon contacting the public prosecutor’s office, members of the security body were told that under the law another security agency had the right to arrest and interrogate the three suspects, and had already done so.
The suspects were detained for one day, but were released when interrogations indicated they were not involved in preparing for any terrorist attacks or other illegal acts.
According to the sources, other security bodies were surprised that the three were freed so quickly, expressing irritation that the security apparatus that arrested and questioned them had dealt with the matter so hastily. The same security bodies voiced their fear that a suicide bomb attack could happen in Lebanon before the end of the week as a result.
The bulk of recent suicide attacks in Lebanon have occurred in Beirut’s southern suburbs and the Bekaa Valley town of Hermel, both areas associated with Hezbollah.
The attacks have been mostly claimed by Syrian rebel groups, who argue that the violence is retaliation for Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian war alongside President Bashar Assad.