Probe reveals Syria's Bashar Assad behind Lebanon terrorism plot
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave direct orders to carry out terrorist attacks in Lebanon, the details of an investigation regarding former Lebanese Information Minister Michel Samaha, detained for alleged involvement in the plot, revealed on Monday -- according to a report on the Al Arabiya website. Lebanese daily newspaper al-Jumhourya reported that Samaha had admitted to investigators that he was working for the Syrian regime trying to execute a plan to set off explosives in the northern Lebanese city of Akkar, Arabiya said.
Samaha was Syria's top supporter in Lebanese govt
Samaha admitted to having collaborated with Gen. Ai al-Mamlouk, head of the Syrian national security bureau, who Samaha said holds a senior position within the Syrian regime. Samaha was arrested on Aug. 10 and was accused of planning to detonate bombs prepared by the Syrians with the aim of “inciting sectarian fighting” in Lebanon.
A Lebanese security agent who was reportedly in regular contact with Samaha helped unveil the plot that led to Samaha's arrest. The agent informed the head of Lebanese internal security service, Col. Wissam al-Hassan, 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."
Col. Hassan initially found the story "strange," according to the daily Assafir, but after repeated insistence by the agent and the latter's request for security protection, the head of the internal security informed Attorney General Judge Said Mirza. Mirza obtained security protection for the agent and opened the probe on the former minister, believed to be close to Syrian President Assad's regime.
Samaha's was to bomb Christians to provoke Muslim Christian fighting
A spy pen camera used by the agent recorded a phone call between the agent and Samaha in which they agreed to meet in the latter's office. The recordings of the meeting revealed details about the explosives, how they would be transported to the north of the country and set off during a mass gathering of people in the city of Akkar. The men also discussed targeting high-profile Lebanese figures, especially from the opposition and those who are against the Syrian regime.
Bashar already had Sunni Muslim Sheikh killed near Alevi neighborhood
The two men later had their final meeting in a parking lot under Samaha's office. Samaha, reportedly, handed the explosives and $170,000 to the agent. According to Assafir, Samaha was filmed carrying the 24 types of explosives from his car truck, including four explosives that weighed 15 kilograms. The rest weighed 1.5 kilograms. The agent then drove to the internal security department and handed them the explosives. Last Thursday, Lebanese security forces arrested Samaha and a judge ordered that he be kept under arrest as part of the investigation.