Red Cross ambulances enter the premises of the Roumieh prison in Roumieh, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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In the beginning the signs were as innocuous as the wife of an Islamist inmate attempting to smuggle in a ring emblazoned with the black and white standard of ISIS.Up until the early hours of Monday morning, the Internal Security Forces had avoided using force to impose order in the notorious Block B. Police raided the jail block after intercepting calls between Islamist inmates and members of the cell behind Saturday's twin suicide bombings in Tripoli that killed nine people.On that September day when the shrewd warden discovered the ring, a security source recounted, he did two things that encapsulated just how prisoner-police dynamics had changed since the August clashes in Arsal, when the lives of the Islamist prisoners became inextricably linked to those of the hostage servicemen.Of the thousand or so prisoners housed there, about 328 are considered national security cases. Among them are approximately 74 inmates who are members of Fatah al-Islam, 55 from Tripoli neighborhood Bab al-Tabbaneh, 16 detained during the Abra clashes of June 2013, and two-dozen are ISIS and Nusra Front members, many of them young men, detained since the Arsal clashes.
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