Naharnet

Alleged Bid to Assassinate Berri Aims at Inciting Sunni-Shiite Strife

The alleged plot to assassinate Speaker Nabih Berri aims at destabilizing the country and inciting a Sunni-Shiite strife, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported on Sunday.

AMAL Movement, Development and Liberation bloc, MP Ali Khreis told the daily that Berri's assassination bid aims at causing chaos in Lebanon and creating a Sunni-Shiite strife.

The lawmaker hailed the efforts exerted by security agencies to unveil terrorist networks, especially the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau and the army's intelligence.

He voiced hope that the security agencies would be able to unveil all terrorist schemes before they are carried out.

The newspaper reported that “ISF intelligence bureau previously obtained information about a plot set to assassinate Berri after monitoring the premises of the Beirut neighborhood of Ain el-Hilweh.”

The speaker's security team was urged to boost security measures to safeguard Berri.

Sources told the daily that the plot aims at inciting sedition in Lebanon as the Shiites view Berri as “a patriotic political figure .”

On Friday, media reports said that Lebanese national Mahmoud Abou Aalfa, who is affiliated to the Qaida-linked Abdulllah Azzam Brigades, confessed that the extremist group was plotting to assassinate Berri, who is the head of the AMAL movement.

Aalfa had reportedly acknowledged that several people were tasked with monitoring the entrances of Ain el-Tineh and the places that Berri frequently visits.

The suspect pointed out that the scheme was to target the Speaker with a booby-trapped car by a suicide bomber or more.

Reports said that another group was also tasked with monitoring the residence of former Minister Wiam Wahab, who is head of the Arab Tawhid Party leader.

Media reports said on February 20 that the ISF Intelligence Bureau had arrested, ahead the twin blasts that targeted the Beirut suburb of Bir Hasan, Aalfa who confessed of being tasked by the Lebanese Sheikh Sirajeddine Zouraykat of the Abdulllah Azzam Brigades with monitoring al-Manar TV and the Iranian Cultural Center.

The twin suicide car bombings in Bir Hasan near the Iranian Cultural Center killed at least six people and wounded more than 100 others, the second attack in less than four months targeting Iranian interests in Lebanon.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the double bombing, vowing additional attacks in retaliation to Hizbullah's involvement in the Syria war.

On Wednesday, the head of the Lebanese Democratic Party, MP Talal Arslan, was urged to boost security measures after security agencies obtained information that he might be the target of an assassination bid.

Earlier in February, media reports had said that former premier Najib Miqati has become a target for assassination in light of their circulation of a security document alleging that a political figure in Beirut or the northern city of Tripoli may be targeted by a suicide bomber.

Miqati hails from Tripoli.

Reports had said that a terrorist cell was plotting the assassination of several officials and judges, including Berri and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat.


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