Lebanon wants Syrian intel chief arrested

Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Lebanese officials have issued an arrest warrant for a Syrian intelligence chief suspected of plotting attacks in Lebanese territory.

Judicial sources in Beirut told The Daily Star newspaper on condition of anonymity that an arrest warrant was issued in absentia for Syrian Gen. Ali Mamlouk, the head of the Syrian National Security Bureau.

Investigative Judge Riad Abu Ghayd set a questioning date for this week, though his arrest warrant listed Mamlouk's place of residence as "unknown.

In August, Mamlouk and former Lebanese Interior Minister Michel Samaha were charged in Lebanon with plotting to assassinate key political figures and launch terrorist attacks in the country. Samaha is in Lebanese custody and is listed by the U.S. State Department as a specially designated global terrorist.

Syrian influence dominated affairs in Lebanon before Beirut gained more autonomy in the aftermath of its Cedar Revolution in 2005. A series of internal political skirmishes and kidnappings in Lebanon, however, have sparked concern the civil war in Syria could spill across the borders.

Syrian forces last week denied claims that Israeli launched an attack on a military convoy headed to Lebanon.

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