Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Aug. 19, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.


A race between diplomatic efforts and "random abductions"

Diplomatic efforts in the last few hours aimed at revealing the truth about the fate of the 11 [kidnapped] Lebanese pilgrims coincided with dangerous developments regarding kidnappings in Lebanon.
What is [most] dangerous is that the organized kidnapping based on Syrian identification which widened to include Turks has metamorphosed into random kidnapping with the abduction of three Syrians on the airport road and two in Shoueifat. The three were later released.
However, some positive signs have surfaced concerning the case of the kidnapped Lebanese after Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent
Fabius informed the [public] that they are fine and that there is no truth to what has been reported about their death.
Sleiman awaits clarification from Asad about the terrorist cell 
The start of the Eid holiday and the positive signs regarding the fate of the kidnapped Lebanese in Aazaz -- namely that they are alive and well and that their case is almost resolved -- coincided with negative developments continued on the local scene. 
The chaos of kidnappings continued along with the rumors. The reality on the ground was that the "out of control gangs" understood Hezbollah's Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah's disassociation from the kidnappings as allowing anyone to destabilize security. This is what prompted Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea to urge the government to announce a state of emergency in the country. 
At the same time, President Michel Sleiman made the smart move of throwing the ball into the court of President Bashar Assad and said that he was waiting for the latter to call him and explain to him the situation after the Lebanese judiciary accused [high-ranking Syrian security official] Ali Mamlouk of forming a terrorist gang aimed at killing and inciting strife in Lebanon.


Information Branch asks officials for support after catching Samaha

Members of the Information Branch as well as Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi are visiting officials, starting with President Michel Sleiman, asking for their support after catching Michel Samaha.

Now there is a problem. The investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghoda agreed to call Milad Kfoury, who is an agent for the Information Branch. If Kfoury fails to show up, the investigation by the ISF will appear flawed before the court. That is why the branch tried to showcase what they confiscated from Samaha. But the critical thing is that the Lebanese judiciary asked the branch about the whereabouts of Kfoury, how he was flown out of the country and what the branch knows of his whereabouts.






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