facebook
twitter
search
search

MP says al-Qaida infiltrated Lebanon

Jan. 2, 2012 at 7:32 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Assem Qanso, a member of the Lebanese parliament, said al-Qaida has infiltrated Lebanese fundamentalist groups with ideologies similar to that of al-Qaida.

In remarks published Monday in Asharq al-Awsat, Qanso, a Baath party member, disputed claims by Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Interior Minister Charbel Nahhas, both of whom have denied the presence of al-Qaida militants in the country, The Daily Star reported.

"Al-Qaida has infiltrated more than 20 fundamentalist organizations that [share similar ideologies to al-Qaida]," Qanso said.

Salafi movements in northern Lebanon and several areas of the eastern Bekaa Valley have provided "fertile ground" for the spread of al-Qaida in Lebanon, Qanso said Monday.

Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn said last month al-Qaida had been sneaking into Lebanon posing as Syrian dissidents, The Daily Star reported.

Qanso, an ally of Syria, said al-Qaida members also had infiltrated the restive Homs as well as Qusayr and Talkalakh in Syria "to fight in order to weaken Syria in an attempt to topple it."

A high-ranking security source told Asharq al-Awsat "there is no al-Qaida presence in Lebanon at all."

"Lebanon is no longer an open arena and its security is no longer slack," the source said, adding Lebanese territory is "no longer a base or corridor for any terrorist group."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses