Arrested terrorist planned to assassinate Lebanon's army commander
Members of a terrorist cell who were detained in northern Lebanon over the weekend had planned to assassinate the newly appointed Army Chief Jean Qahwaji, a Lebanese security official said Tuesday.
The Lebanese army said on Sunday that its troops have arrested members of a terrorist group allegedly involved in recent bombings in northern Lebanon, reproted dpa.
Sunday's army statement said several people from a "terrorist cell" were arrested for their involvement in the August 13 and September 29 bombings in the port city of Tripoli that killed 21 people among them Lebanese soldiers.
The pan-Arab Al Hayat newspaper said, citing security sources, that the cell members admitted to planning an attack on the Internal Security Forces (ISF) headquarters in Beirut's Ashrafiyeh district.
They also said, according to al-Hayat, that they had planted explosives on the highway leading to the headquarters of the Tenth Brigade at the military base in the Qleiat military airport.
According to a Lebanese security source they also planned an attack on Qahwaji's convoy.
"Qahawji was the head of the tenth brigade when the Lebanese army fought pitched battles against the fundamentalist movement Fatah al- Islam in Tripoli northern Lebanon," the source told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa.
Lebanese security sources said the "terrorist who were arrested over the weekend belong to Fatah al-Islam."
Last year, the army fought a 15-week battle with the al-Qaeda inspired Fatah al-Islam in the northern refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared that left 400 people dead, including 168 soldiers.
Al-Hayat added that Abdul Ghani Jawhar, the terrorist cell leader who is still at large, was spotted at the site of the attack in Tripoli minutes before the September 29 bus blast which killed four soldiers and three civilians.
A similar attack on August 13 killed 14 people, including nine soldiers and a child.
Jawhar had bought 50 kilograms of explosives from the Palestinian Refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh in southern Lebanon and transported them to al-Baddawi camp, according to Al-Hayat newspaper.
Two wanted Fatah al-Islam members identified as Ousama al-Shehabi and Mohammed Awad reportedly bought the explosives from the same camp and used them for the second Tripoli bombing.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the mainstream Fatah movement in the Palestinian Refugee camp of Rashidiyeh east of southern port city of Tyre, Sultan Abu al-Aynayn, said that Lebanese Army Commander Jean Qahwaji had assigned specific security agencies to coordinate with the Palestinian factions on all security issues in the refugee camps.
Abu al-Aynayn said the Palestinian factions would firmly deal with any security breach that will threaten the security in Lebanon.