Lebanon averts terror scheme aimed at fostering sectarian conflict
Lebanese army personal arrest a man in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. (AFP)
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Security agencies were able to avert a “terrorist scheme” by Syrian opposition groups to involve Lebanon in a “dangerous sectarian” conflict, As Safir newspaper reported on Saturday.
According to the daily, a Lebanese security agency received a warning from a U.S. apparatus ten days ago, which included certain information, that a Syrian opposition group was seeking to carry out a “military operation” on Friday night in the Bekaa town of Nahle and other nearby towns.
The group is reportedly comprised of at least 2,000 rebels .
The report said that the rebels had two purposes the first is committing a “massacre that would lead to a sectarian strife in the country,” and the second is “to kidnap tens of men from the town of Nahle and other villages to later free them under a prisoner exchange deal for Islamist inmates at Roumieh prison.”
As Safir said that the U.S. apparatus urged the Lebanese army command and the General Security Directorate to take all the necessary precautions to prevent takfiri groups from abducting soldiers and officers to also swap them with the Roumieh prisoners.
Earlier in July, self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has vowed to release Muslim “hostages” from jails in Arab countries, including Lebanon, and promised to “liquidate their butchers.”
The shadowy jihadist said the “butchers” include judges, security forces and guards.
Al-Baghdadi heads the Islamic State (IS) group, or Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which led a lighting offensive in Iraq that has overrun swathes of five provinces north and west of Baghdad.
The IS accuses the Lebanese state of being a U.S. and Israeli ally.
In June, the emir of the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front in al-Qalamoun promised in an audio message to free Islamist prisoners in Roumieh “within days.”
Abou Malek al-Shami described the inmates as “Muslim captives and jihadist brethren.”
The threats come amid strong measures taken by security forces and the army around Roumieh over an alleged plot to carry out a truck bombing and a plan by prisoners to escape from the facility.
The authorities have announced the arrest in the past weeks of several suspected terrorists plotting to carry out suicide bombings in Lebanon.
Previous attacks have been claimed by extremists, who have vowed to carry out more assaults to avenge the presence of Hizbullah fighters in Syria.
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