BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Lebanese authorities charged three foreign nationals with attempting to establish a terrorist cell intent on attacking a U.N. peacekeeping mission.
Lebanon charged a Syrian, a Kuwaiti and a Tajikistani to life behind bars for coordinating with Fatah al-Islam and Jund al-Sham, two Islamic extremists groups inspired by al-Qaida, in an effort to establish an independent al-Qaida cell.
Court papers said the three individuals were moving forward with plans to launch attacks on the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, Dubai's Gulf News reports.
The courts said the suspects met with terrorist leaders in Syria and Lebanon in order to generate funds and procure weapons to plot against the governments in Damascus and Beirut as well.
Intelligence on the suspects suggests they traveled through Iran and Afghanistan before surfacing in Lebanon in 2009.
The charges state the men were trying to establish an independent al-Qaida branch separate from organized terrorist groups in the region with the goal of turning Lebanon into a breeding ground for terrorists.