Minister of Transportation and Public Works Ghazi al-Aridi stressed on Thursday the importance of “flexibility” in resolving the telecom data dispute as the security agencies had made achievements in the past by obtaining this data.
“President Michel Suleiman tackled the issue during his speech (at the cabinet session on Wednesday at the Baabda Palace), and the obstacles blocking the army from obtaining the (telecom) data,” Aridi told An Nahar newspaper.
He stated that the issue is related to the national security that is “above all personal political ambitions.”
Suleiman called on the concerned ministries, including the interior, defense and telecom, to facilitate the work of the army.
“The efforts exerted by security institutions should be facilitated… especially when it’s no longer related to the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau,” Aridi added.
Former MP Marwan Hamadeh commented on the issue, saying: “We have previously warned of depriving the security directorates from the telecom data.”
The telecom data dispute had stirred political controversy over the legality of providing the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch with the telecommunications records.
The cabinet session on Wednesday tackled the issue of the telecom data after army commander Jean Qahwaji stressed the importance of cooperation regarding the matter in order to pursue the “terrorist networks.”
The issue came in light of the army’s discovery of an extremist “Takfiri” network that was planning attacks on the Lebanese army.
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