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Terrorists Sought Avenge for Army Victory in Bared War

Terrorists Sought Avenge for Army Victory in Bared War
folder_openLebanon access_time11 years ago
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Source: Al-Manar TV, 13-10-2008

"A remarkable victory", this is what can be said about the latest victory of the Lebanese army who arrested a terrorist network on Sunday which was behind the latest bombs in the north of Lebanon.

Security official said on Monday that a "terrorist cell" was behind three bomb attacks in Lebanon and that it was seeking revenge for the army's victory over the extremist Islamist group Fatah al-Islam last year.

The cell is linked to Fatah al-Islam and some of its members came from that group, the official said.

"So far the army is the sole target of attacks mounted by this cell and the operations they were planning target the army and internal security forces," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Lebanese daily As-Safir reported initial investigations have revealed that the cell was preparing an attack on a Lebanese army bus on the Beirut-Tripoli highway and the headquarters of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) in Beirut's Ashrafiyeh district.

Lebanese authorities on Sunday said that it arrested members of a "terrorist network" suspected of involvement in deadly bomb attacks in the northern city of Tripoli.

"Several members of a terrorist cell involved in the recent explosions in Tripoli have been arrested," the army said in a statement carried by the official news agency NNA.

Four soldiers and three civilians were killed when an explosion ripped through a military bus in the port city on September 29. A similar attack in mid-August killed 14 people, including nine soldiers and a child.

The army said an explosives belt for use in a future attack was found during the arrest operation carried out by a joint unit of soldiers and internal security forces.

A search is underway for a leading member of the cell, named as Abdul Ghani Ali Jawhar, the statement said, adding that those arrested were questioned, without saying how many were being held.

As-Safir said the tracing of telephone calls had led to the identification of Jawhar three days ago. The LAF-ISF force then raided Jawhar's brother's home in the Bab al-Tabbaneh quarters of Tripoli, but no trace of the suspected plotter could be found. Jawhar's brother, sister and brother-in-law were arrested, however.

The ISF-LAF found maps of the exact areas where the explosions took place, as well as other maps, in Mohammad's possession, which were forwarded to the relevant judicial authority for a follow-up investigation.

Interior Minister Ziad Baroud was also reported to be planning for an extraordinary meeting of the Central Security Council on Monday afternoon to follow up the investigations into the cell.

Last year, the army fought a 15-week battle with the Al-Qaeda inspired Fatah al-Islam militia in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared near Tripoli that left 400 people dead, including 168 soldiers.

AFP quoted security sources as saying that a total of six people were detained, including four men from the same family: Mahmud Azzam, 80, and his three sons. The father and two of his sons were released after questioning.

One son had returned the previous day from Denmark, another from Algeria and the third worked in Lebanon, one of the sources said, adding that they were from Nahr al-Bared. A fourth brother, Jihad, had been killed in last year's fighting with the army, the sources said.

A Lebanese man, Alaa Mehrez, also known as Attiya, was detained in possession of the explosives belt as well as a woman who was with him at the time in the district of Bab el-Tebbaneh, the sources said. They said Mehrez was a brother-in-law of the main suspect on the run.


Meanwhile, President Michel Suleiman said that dialogue was the only way to solve controversial issues and problems in Lebanon.

A statement issued Monday by the president's office about Suleiman's visit to Saudi Arabia said that the president met with Lebanese business executives and emphasized the necessity of improving the image of the national unity.

He added that the security situation was improving, especially after the army arrested terrorists implicated in the September 29 Tripoli attack.

He said that "terrorist acts" in Arab and Islamic countries will end soon and that not all refugee camps would experience conflict like the 15 weeks of fighting in the Nahr al-Bared camp last year.

"Any party that attacks its brothers and the Kingdom in particular," through speeches to the media, said Suleiman, was demonstrating a lack of Arab unity.