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Lebanon News

Security services ‘monitoring resurgent Nusra Front cells’

  • File - Fatah members stand guard in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh near Sidon, Sunday, March 16, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: Lebanese security services are following up on information suggesting that Nusra Front cells have resumed activity and planned more terrorist attacks in Lebanon, security sources told The Daily Star Monday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said the security services received information that a Palestinian identified by his initials T.M.T. was recruiting members for the cells with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks.

The sources said the man had been a senior official of Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon in the past and is currently among the most prominent members of Al-Qaeda in Lebanon.

The Palestinian suspect is in constant contact with Al-Qaeda officials in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq via the Internet, the source said.

The source said the security services were monitoring the movement of these cells, headed by Ghazi A., 31, a Lebanese man from the northern region of Wadi Khaled.

The sources added that Ghazi often goes to the Bekaa Valley town of Arsal, where he coordinates with Abdel-Mohsen H., a Lebanese explosives expert.

Abdel-Mohsen also trains fundamentalists about various ways of using explosive belts, they said.

According to the information, T.M.T. recently distributed CDs to members of fundamentalist organizations in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh on the outskirts of Sidon and in some Beirut neighborhoods, containing instructions on how to rig cars and motorcycles.

Lebanon has recently witnessed a wave of bombings, which mainly targeted Hezbollah-associated areas.

Most of the attacks were claimed by Syrian rebels, who said they were in retaliation for Hezbollah’s military involvement in Syria alongside the regime.

The attacks came to a halt over a month ago, following an Army crackdown on terrorist cells in the country and an operation by the Syrian army and Hezbollah that drove rebels out of Syrian rebel-held territories adjacent to Lebanon.

Separately, the Lebanese Army said in a statement that it arrested Yahya Allouki in the northern city of Tripoli. Allouki was wanted on several arrest warrants for using firearms and tossing hand grenades.

Allouki is the brother of Ziad Allouki, a militia commander in Tripoli who is wanted by authorities but remains at large.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 06, 2014, on page 3.
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Summary

Lebanese security services are following up on information suggesting that Nusra Front cells have resumed activity and planned more terrorist attacks in Lebanon, security sources told The Daily Star Monday.

The sources said the man had been a senior official of Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon in the past and is currently among the most prominent members of Al-Qaeda in Lebanon.

The source said the security services were monitoring the movement of these cells, headed by Ghazi A., 31, a Lebanese man from the northern region of Wadi Khaled.

The attacks came to a halt over a month ago, following an Army crackdown on terrorist cells in the country and an operation by the Syrian army and Hezbollah that drove rebels out of Syrian rebel-held territories adjacent to Lebanon.


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