SIDON, Lebanon, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Jordanian security officials Friday said al-Qaida operatives have infiltrated a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.
The Lebanese news portal Naharnet quotes the Arabic-language daily al-Hayat saying Jordanian officials found evidence to suggest al-Qaida is recruiting Palestinians in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp near the port of Sidon.
The Lebanese government has refused to send national security forces to the area, earning it a reputation for militant activity.
Officials say al-Qaida officials have established post-office boxes in Europe, Iraq and several Gulf states to establish contacts and conduct recruiting operations.
Al-Qaida operatives from Iraq entered Lebanon in 2007 using forged documents and loyalists who hold European citizenship but hail from Yemen or Saudi Arabia.
The allegation follows an increase in communications from al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, which the al-Hayat report says led some analysts to "express concern that the infiltration of these operatives into an area close to Hezbollah's influence might raise the prospects of sectarian collision in the area."