HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Lebanon: Al qaeda sought fighters for Iraq, report says

Beirut, 31 Jan. (AKI) - A well-organised militia linked to al-Qaeda's pointman in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has operated in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley recruiting local fighters to join the insurgency in Iraq, a Lebanese newspaper said Tuesday, citing state security sources. Authorities learnt of the militia's existence through the interrogation of 13 alleged members of an al-Qaeda cell based in Lebanon, the as-Safir daily reported. The men were arrested in a December 2005 sweep in which rockets, explosives, handgrenades and assault rifles were also seized.

"Those captured have confessed that they recruited a number of young Lebanese in the northern part of the Bekaa Valley and many Palestinians from refugee camps based in Lebanon with the aim of forming 'suicide groups' to send to Iraq," the report said, citing unidentified security sources.

"Once recruited the men were trained in training camps situated in neighbouring countries," it said without naming the countries.

The alleged head of the Lebanese al-Qaeda cell, a Syrian national named Khaled Taha, was not caputred in the December raid and is still at large, the sources told as-Safir.

Taha apparently recruited Abu Adas, an Islamic extremist who appeared in a video after the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri, claiming that he was responsible for the attack. However Lebanese investigators, as well as a United Nations commission of inquiry into the bomb blast that killed Hariri and 20 others, have ruled out any al-Qaeda involvement.

Still, Lebanese authorities believe that besides dispatching fighters to Iraq, the al-Qaeda cell also planned terrorist attacks in Lebanon, the as-Safir report said.

On Monday Lebanon's security forces announced that they plan to create a "Special Agency to Combat Terrorism, with branches located throughout the country. Agency staff will receive special training from international anti-terrorism experts, they said.
Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org