Lebanon: France confirms citizen arrested in Beirut hotel raid

25th Jun 2014
Lebanon: France confirms citizen arrested in Beirut hotel raid



France confirmed Tuesday one of its nationals had been arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of planning an attack.

Lebanese security forces on Friday detained 17 people in two hotels in Beirut following a tip-off that attacks by a “terrorist group” were being planned in the capital and other parts of the country.

A judicial source told AFP Monday that all had been released except a Frenchman originally from the Comoros islands in the Indian Ocean.

French foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal confirmed Tuesday that “a French national was arrested in Beirut.”

Al-Akhbar on Monday reported that the suspect was part of a group of four would-be suicide bombers who had come to Lebanon.

The suspect had admitted coming to the country with a view of committing a suicide attack under the influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has overran major areas of five provinces in Iraq and is currently pressing onto Baghdad.

Another of the four may have been behind a suicide attack that actually took place in east Lebanon on Friday, killing one person and wounding at least 30 others.

The French government is concerned about the radicalization of its nationals after several citizens have gone to fight with jihadists in Syria, where ISIS is very powerful.

It unveiled an anti-terrorism plan in April to prevent radicalization, thwart online recruitment and make it more difficult for aspiring jihadists to leave the country.

Since then, authorities have arrested a French suspect called Medhi Nemmouche suspected of carrying out the Brussels Jewish Museum killings last month after spending a year fighting in Syria.

They have also deported a Tunisian accused of recruiting young jihadists to fight in Syria.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)



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