5 Suspected Terrorists Held in Bekaa, Including Cousin of Haret Hreik Bomber

Five people were arrested on Sunday in the Bekaa region on suspicion of plotting an act of terror.

“Army intelligence agents apprehended a group of five people who were plotting a terrorist act,” state-run National News Agency reported.

“They were referred to the relevant judicial authorities and an investigation is underway,” NNA added.

Meanwhile, Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) said the army arrested “five Lebanese and Syrian gunmen, among them Omar al-Satem, who were en route to Arsal.”

It described al-Satem as “one of the most dangerous fugitives,” saying the militants were arrested a checkpoint in Baalbek on suspicion that they were plotting an act of terror.

Later on Sunday, the Army Command issued a statement saying the five suspects were arrested at the Hrabta-al-Labweh checkpoint in coordination with the intelligence directorate.

It identified the detained men as “Lebanese nationals Omar Mnawer al-Satem -- a cousin of the terrorist Qutaiba al-Satem who had blown himself up in Haret Hreik – and Ibrahim Ali al-Braidi, in addition to the Syrians Atallah Rashed al-Berri, Abdullah Mahmoud al-Bakkour and Jawdat Rashid Kammoun.”

The statement said they were arrested on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, al-Satem family, which hails from the northern region of Wadi Khaled, issued a statement clarifying that Omar Mnawer al-Satem who was arrested by the army “is not the fugitive wanted by the Lebanese state” and that the name of his mother is Suad.

“The fugitive is called Omar Ahmed al-Satem and the name of his mother is al-Sheikha,” the family clarified.

On Friday, a suicide car bombing rocked an Internal Security Forces checkpoint in the Bekaa area of Dahr al-Baydar, killing an ISF member and wounding over 30 people. The blast went off only 200 meters away from the convoy of General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim but it is still unclear if he was the target of the attack.

On the same day, the busy Hamra district in Beirut was the scene of a major security crackdown, with security forces raiding two hotels in the area and interrogating around 102 people.

The majority of suspects were freed but investigations are ongoing with three of the individuals who were arrested at one of the hotels, reported the daily al-Mustaqbal on Sunday.

It said that one of the suspects is a French national with Arab origins.


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