SIDON, Lebanon: Extremist groups may be planning to launch terror attacks inside Lebanon, Palestinian sources told The Daily Star Monday, according to information gleaned from telephone conversations between individuals inside a local Palestinian refugee camp and other persons abroad.
A senior Lebanese security source informed Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon Ashraf Dabbour and Fatah secretary Fathi Abu Aardat that United Nations peacekeepers had intercepted calls suggesting groups were planning to attack from inside camps in Lebanon, the sources said.
These terrorist plots are related to the situation in Syria and could possibly target groups that support the Syrian regime, the sources added.
The report of potential attacks comes amid rumors that Lebanese security bodies told leading Palestinian figures they had information that a prominent Al-Qaeda figure from the Gulf had arrived in the southern camp of Ain al-Hilweh and was planning to stage attacks from there.
The senior Lebanese security official urged Dabbour and Abu Aardat to reinforce security measures and asked them to coordinate with other Palestinian factions in order to form a united security committee to maintain stability in the camps.
After hearing the report, Abu Aardat contacted Palestinian organizations in the Alliance of Palestinian Forces in order to begin work to establish the committee, which is likely to be headed by Maj. Gen. Sobhi Abu Arab, who also leads the Palestinian National Security Forces.
The Palestinian sources said that a meeting of officials from PLO groups was held Monday at the office of Abu Aardat at the Mieh-Mieh Camp near Sidon to discuss the committee.
Abu Aardat told participants in the meeting that Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization are prepared to form a united committee and that the issue was being seriously discussed with the groups from the Alliance of Palestinian Forces.
PLO groups, including the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian Liberation Front and Fatah, will likely have representatives on the committee.
The Alliance of Palestinian Forces will also likely send representatives from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
It remains undecided whether the unified committee will have a separate military wing or will use the National Security Forces and other groups.