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Al Qaeda in Lebanon??

Interesting Article: "No solid evidence of Al-Qaeda presence in Lebanon: Mikati" by THE DAILY STAR / Beirut published Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An interesting article mentioned that last week, Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn said arms were being smuggled and “some terrorist members of Al-Qaeda” entered Lebanon through illegal crossings on the Lebanese-Syrian border, particularly Arsal, under the guise of Syrian opposition members (they are said to be in a small Lebanese town near the Syrian border). Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Wednesday he had no solid evidence that Al-Qaeda was present in Lebanon, in an apparent attempt to contain the controversy sparked by Ghosn. Ghosn’s remarks, which came just two days before Syrian officials blamed a rare twin suicide bombing in Damascus that killed 44 people on Al-Qaeda, have stirred controversy at the local level. Interior Minister Marwan Charbel also denied Tuesday that Al-Qaeda had a base in Lebanon. The conflicting statements by the two ministers reflected the apparent the state of disarray within Mikati’s six-month-old Cabinet as Lebanon is reeling under the reverberations of the turmoil in Syria, now in its ninth month. Would you like to know more?

On Wednesday December 21, 2011 Lebanon warned Damascus that al Qaeda had infiltrated into Syria from its territory according to Syria's Foreign Ministry spokesman. This comment came after two explosions rocked Syria's capital killing at least 40 people. The Lebanese Cabinet today instructed the Lebanese army and security forces to monitor the border of the country following reports that Al-Qaeda cells had infiltrated Lebanon. In Lebanon, An explosion tore through a restaurant in the southern Lebanese town of Tyre at dawn Wednesday (The explosion, which happened at around 5 a.m. local time (3 GMT), was caused by a two kilogram bomb made of TNT that was left on the staircase of the seaside Tyros restaurant. There were no injuries), just a few meters from a hotel that was bombed last month. Meanwhile, three Lebanese shot and wounded by Syrian troops as they were crossing into northern Lebanon died of their injuries overnight, a medical official said on Wednesday. Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn was pretty descriptive of the al Qaeda entrant into Lebanon. He mentioned that the militants entered Lebanon from the Beqaa Valley in the east and particularly through the border town of Ersal in the district of Baalbek. Ministerial sources in Lebanon also said that the Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Kahwaji had told President Michel Suleiman, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berry, and Prime Minister Najuib Mikati that a Lebanese citizen in the town of Ersal has connections with al-Qaeda and that the army tried to arrest him for interrogation but residents prevented them. According to political analysts, the recent focus on the town of Ersal began for reasons other than terrorism and arms smuggling. According to the analysts, the town received attention because it is on the border with Syria and because Syrian army officers have been infringing on Lebanese sovereignty and firing gunshots inside Lebanese territories. This, they added, left several Lebanese citizens injured and one died a few days ago. Until recently, Syrian border crossings tended to occur in the Wadi Khaled district of Akkar, where refugees have been fleeing since the uprising began against the Bashar Assad’s government nine months ago. But in the past few months’ attention has been focused on Arsal in the Bekaa (Beqaa Valley), where there have been allegations of weapons being smuggled through the mountains that mark the border in east Lebanon. At the meeting, the sources said that Kahwagi confirmed that according to army information, some people who claim be members of the Syrian opposition and are smuggling weapons are in fact from al-Qaida. Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi had stated that when the army attempts to confront these people, groups in Lebanon object in defense of freedom. Has al Qaeda decided to group in Bekaa (Beqaa Valley)? As the developments continue let us see.




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