Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Thursday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
Judicial authorities free owner of weapons shipment and attacker of Al-Jadeed TV
Tripoli provoked by the release of those who tampered with its security
March 14 youth return to the streets in a massive rally Wednesday evening, declaring in a single voice: “The people want to expel the ambassador of the Syrian regime.”
Meanwhile, judicial authorities released Wissam Alaaeddine, one of the members of the “resistance brigades,” better known as “the hero.” Alaaeddine, who was charged with setting fire to Al-Jadeed TV headquarters, was released on LL2 million bail by Judge Nada Dakroub.
Al-Mustaqbal has learned that judicial authorities also released the 11 detainees from al-Mouri family who are close to Hezbollah and who were arrested for their [alleged] involvement in the recent violence in Tripoli, north Lebanon.
Al-Qaeda tells Shiites: Hezbollah threatening tourism in Lebanon
Al-Qaeda did not wait long before putting its new strategy into effect: “Lebanon’s Shiites will become a target of the fundamentalist organization if they do not abandon Hezbollah.”
This is the summary of a statement that came from the head of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades in the Levant, Majed al-Majed, in an audio recording played over the past few days on jihadist [websites] under the title, “A message to the Shiites of Lebanon,” urging them to “be wise and not to walk behind Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, which are going to suffer.”
Majed urged Lebanon’s Shiites to disown Hezbollah. He also accused Hezbollah of assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, saying: “Claims by Shiite leaders that Hariri and the Syrian Revolution are the making of the U.S. and Israeli enemies are baseless. Hariri was killed by your leaders.”
Majed reminded the Shiites in Lebanon of the days when they were oppressed and deprived before the establishment of the Movement of the Deprived in the Bekaa and Beirut during the time of [Syrian President] Hafez Assad in the Lebanese Civil War.
Majed also expressed concerns over tourism in Lebanon, saying “Lebanon is a country with scarce resources and relies on tourism and the support of expatriates.”
He said security is key to tourism, pointing out that Hezbollah’s presence poses a threat to both Lebanon’s security and tourism.
Security delegation to Ankara today ... good news about coming back with the hostages
Salary scale “dying” ... alternative is to retroactively pay -- in Oct. -- the high cost of living for the public sector.
The issue of the expulsion of the Syrian ambassador becomes axis of confrontation between March 14 and March 8 ... government bickering over oil issue
The issue of the Lebanese hostages as well as non-Lebanese kidnapped and missing persons is back at the fore amid ongoing efforts on the part of Turkey to end the kidnapping and counter-kidnapping, in addition to measures taken by the “Committee of those forcibly made to disappear.”
In this context, Al-Liwaa has learned from a reliable source that a security delegation will travel to Ankara today in an effort to put the final touches on a deal to swap the Lebanese hostages for the Syrian and Turkish captives.
The source did not rule out the possibility that the delegation would come back in the company of the 10 remaining Lebanese hostages, or at least some of them.
Significantly, the Cabinet, which was meeting in the Grand Serail [Wednesday afternoon], only learned about the heavy shooting in the vicinity of the Serail from the media, according to the ministers.
Gunshots were fired in celebration over the release on LL1 million bail of Wissam Alaeddine, who is accused of attacking Al-Jadeed television station about two months ago.
Alaaeddine’s release came after Al-Jadeed dropped the lawsuit against him.
Interrogation of armed network uncovers plot to assassinate judges
A senior military source told Al-Joumhouria that the interrogation conducted by Lebanese Army Intelligence of both Mohammad al-Jouni and Mohammad Ayyoub – who were arrested on charges of forming an armed gang of bank robbers – showed that they belonged to an armed group planning to assassinate several judges.
The investigation also showed that the two men are directly linked to the Rmaileh cell, which is accused of supplying explosives and weapons to terrorist networks.
Jouni confessed that he was preparing to assassinate several judges. He also admitted that he has ties to the Rmaileh network, which provided weapons and explosives to terrorist networks.