Lebanon: 31 charged with plotting to attack Christian religious sites
Lebanese judicial authorities charged 31 al Qaeda-linked individuals on Tuesday for plotting to attack a church and other religious sites in the Christian town of Zahleh in the eastern Bekaa Valley. According to Reuters, judicial sources said the suspects were also charged with possessing illegal weapons including rockets and forging documents. Death sentences were recommended for 14 of them.
Eighteen of the suspects, who include Lebanese, Syrians and a Saudi, were arrested over the past few months and judiciary sources said the cell was led by a Saudi and a Syrian in Lebanon. There were 13 on the run, including al Qaeda leader in Syria, Salahuddin Mohammad Saleh, also known as Abu Ahmad.
Most of the suspects were arrested while the Lebanese army was fighting al Qaeda-inspired fighters in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon earlier this year.