Lebanon confirms al Qaeda active in country

Published October 7th, 2006 - 05:57 GMT

Lebanon's Acting Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat confirmed in a newspaper interview Saturday the presence of al Qaeda in Lebanon, disclosing that "we have apprehended four groups" belonging to this network.

 

He also blasted allegations that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and the "Liberation Party", which he said was founded long before Osama Bin Laden established his network. 

 

"I have been asked about it (the Liberation Party) in (trips to) Washington and in Egypt and in any country I visit … The Liberation Party has a history that dates back to half a century," Fatfat said in an interview with an-Nahar daily published Saturday.

 

He said the Sunni Liberation Party "is today politically active … and that comforts me," adding that "should it err, I will request the Cabinet to dissolve it for security, and not political measures."

 

Fatfat assured that al-Qaeda was present in Lebanon. "Of course (it is present)," he said "in view that four of its groups have been apprehended" in Lebanon.

 

Fatfat clarified, however, that the four groups were unconnected. "This is a scheme performed by al-Qaeda," he added. "We take pride in Lebanon in being able to arrest these groups before becoming effective," Fatfat noted.

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