Reports: Terrorists Plotted to Target Casino du Libanإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Militants were plotting to target Casino du Liban in Jounieh on New Year's Eve, Le Royal hotel and other major facilities, investigations with detained suspects revealed.
Local dailies said on Friday that al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front was plotting to attack the casino with a car bomb loaded with explosives and driven by Elie Warraq, who has been recently arrested.
Warraq, a Christian who has converted to Islam, was plotting to enter the Casino with his ID and carry out the bombing but he failed to do so over logistic difficulties.
On his ID, Warraq remained a Christian hailing from northern Lebanon.
The army said last week that it had thwarted a plan to implement a series of suicide attacks and arrested three people including Warraq, who was going by the name "Abu Ali."
Warraq's arrest came less than a week after two suicide bombers who hail from the northern city of Tripoli killed nine people at a packed cafe in the city's mainly Alawite Jabal Mohsen district.
The newspapers said the detained suspects revealed to investigators that fugitive terrorists Shadi al-Mawlawi and Osama Mansour were coordinating the plot against the casino, in addition to other attacks on Le Royal Hotel in Dbayeh, the military intelligence base in Tripoli's al-Metran street and in Beirut's southern suburbs.
Al-Mawlawi and Mansour disappeared from Tripoli in October during deadly gunbattles between their followers and the army in and around the city.
The reports said that the army has so far arrested several would-be suicide bombers and instigators, and is pursuing a gang of four men suspected of plotting attacks.
Most of the booby-trapped vehicles that the militants are planning to use in the bombings are coming from the Syrian Qalamoun region that lies near Lebanon's eastern border with Syria, they said.
The militants are also receiving training on explosives-making in Qalamoun, the reports added.