Lebanon Intelligence Arrests Former Minister Over Suspected Bomb Plots

Former cabinet minister Michel Samaha is suspected of smuggling explosives, planning bomb attacks in Lebanon. Reports say Samaha confessed, points finger at Assad.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Lebanese intelligence recently arrested former cabinet minister Michel Samaha, a considered high-ranking official in the pro-Syrian camp in Lebanon, over suspicions that he planned bomb attacks targeting Lebanese opposition figures and Sunni population centers.

Media reports in Lebanon say that Samaha, a well-known Christian figure in the Lebanese political world, is very close to Syrian President Bashar Assad and is considered to be a one of his senior advisers. In the past, Samaha acted to reinstate Syria's relations with Western countries.

Samaha, the reports claim, was able to smuggle 24 powerful explosive devices using his private car. The plan was to set off the bombs in populated areas with a Sunni majority in northern Lebanon as well as in other regions of the country.

The daily A Safir reported that one plan was to initiate an explosion at an event marking the end of the Ramadan fast near the city of Tripoli, where top opposition officials were scheduled to attend.

A senior official in Lebanon's security establishment was quoted in the daily al-Joumhouria saying Samaha had confessed his crimes after he was confronted with hard evidence against him. Samaha claimed he was acting under Assad's orders.

Prior to his arrest, reports say, Samaha was under the surveillance of the Lebanese security forces for three weeks.

The Lebanese opposition, along with Saad Hariri's March 14 alliance, blamed Assad and Samaha of attempting to export the Syrian crisis into Lebanon in order to spread fear and terror in the country.

The pro-Syrian camp, including Hezbollah, claimed that Samaha's is a victim of a conspiracy hatched by anti-Syrian factions in Lebanon.

The arrest of Samaha has embarrassed Hezbollah and its allies, including the government and pro-Syrian premier Najib Mikati.

Justice Minister Shakib Qurbawi said that the investigation being conducted against Samaha is confidential any leak requires a thorough investigation; however he did not deny the reports.

At the same time, reports say the Syrian regime and the pro-Syrian camp in Lebanon are exerting heavy pressure on President Michel Suliman to order Samaha would be released.

Lebanese policemen are deployed at the entrance of a residential building where former Lebanese government minister Michel Samaha lives, Beirut, August 9, 2012.Credit: Reuters
Lebanese former cabinet minister Michel Samaha.Credit: Reuters

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile