Lebanon arrests Daesh militant planning suicide attacks on Tripoli
Tripoli, Lebanon has seen an increase in Daesh activity in recent months. (AFP/Ibrahim Chalhoub)
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The army announced Tuesday the arrest of a fugitive belonging to Daesh, who had plotted to stage suicide attacks on military posts in the northern city of Tripoli.
“The Intelligence Directorate has arrested the fugitive Mazen Ahmed al-Hajj Hussein, aka Abou Ahmed and Saeed, on charges of belonging to the terrorist IS group and plotting acts of sabotage,” the army said in a statement.
The detainee participated in the deadly 2014 clashes in Tripoli between the army and Daesh forces, the statement added.
He fought “alongside the group led by now detained militant Mohammed Asaad al-Ayyoubi and later alongside the group led by now detained militant Ahmed Salim Miqati,” the army said.
“After calm returned to Tripoli, the detainee started receiving his orders from the fugitive Mohammed Omar al-Iaali, who asked him to recruit new militants and promised him that the IS group would provide all the requirements for creating cells in Tripoli,” the army added.
Iaali also asked him to prepare to target army posts with “suicide bombers.”
After that, al-Hajj Hussein managed to recruit a number of would-be suicide bombers and he waited to receive “money and arms” from Daesh, the army added.
“When the army tightened the noose on his group and after Ziad al-Rifai was arrested, al-Hajj Hussein decided to travel to Raqqa,” the army said.
The military's statement did not say where the man was arrested or if he had ties to the Daesh cell that was recently busted in connection with the Bourj al-Barajneh twin suicide blasts.
The bombings, among the worst in years, killed 43 people and wounded 239 others.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material