Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lebanese and Syrian Officials Indicted For Terror Plots In Lebanon

Here's a bizarre story out of the Middle East.
The cast of characters: a former Lebanese Maronite Christian politician best buddies with Syria's Bashar al-Assad and in cahoots with the regime, a Lebanese man, a spy pen, and a Syrian general. The plot: kill Christians and Muslims in the northern part of Lebanon (Akkar). The objective: create sectarian violence between Sunni Muslims and Christians, and Sunnis and the bizarre Muslim Alawite sect (they celebrate Christmas!) to which Assad belongs.
Apparently, Michel Samaha (the former Lebanese minister) solicited a man (known only as 'Kfouri') to arrange for bomb attacks on Sunnis during their Ramadan Iftar fast-breaking banquets, at the same time that Christian Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi was due to visit the area. The targets were Syrian opposition and Sunni dignitaries.
Kfouri apparently went to the authorities with his story, convinced them that Samaha had asked him to "secure a group of trusted young men to transport explosive devices to the north and set them off there in exchange for a sum of money," the police handed him a handy dandy spy pen camera, and he was able to tape incriminating conversations with Samaha. With that evidence, including the exchange last Tuesday of $170,000 cash plus 24 explosive devices (four of which weighed 15 kilograms) Samaha was arrested, and subsequently indicted.

In one of the taped conversations Samaha was heard saying “this is what Bashar wants,” and also shared that the explosives had been given to him by Syrian Security Chief Major General Ali Mamlouk. Mamlouk and a Syrian colonel have also been charged. They all could get the death penalty for the failed plot.

Pro-Assad Hezbollah criticized the arrest, but what do you expect from a terrorist organization.

I guess Syria wants to pull Lebanon into its private hell.

Sources: Al Arabiya, CS Monitor, Naharnet

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