Michel Samaha Arrested, 'Confesses to Plotting Bombings in North'

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The Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch arrested former MP and cabinet minister Michel Samaha on Thursday morning "for security reasons," the acting general prosecutor said.

Samaha was arrested following raids on his houses in Beirut’s Ashrafiyeh district and the North Metn town of Jwar al-Khensahara.

Samaha's wife, Gladys, told LBCI TV network that the former minister was still in bed when the security forces dragged him out and forced him into one of four vehicles waiting outside his Jwar al-Khenshara house.

She said her husband was arrested for “political reasons” and urged the Lebanese camp that backs him “to move.”

The security forces seized two of his vehicles, a computer and several items, including CDs and videos, from both houses. They also took his driver Fares Barakat for questioning.

The National News Agency said his secretary and two of his bodyguards were also being interrogated.

The bodyguards, Fares Barakat and Ali Mallah, and the secretary Gladys Awada were later released on bail.

The reasons for Samaha's arrest were not clear, but MTV later reported that he confessed to planning "terrorist attacks" in Lebanon at Syrian orders.

LBCI later said that he confessed to planning terrorist attacks that would have been carried out during Ramadan iftars in northern Lebanon.

"Samaha confessed to smuggling explosives in his car from Syria to Lebanon," reported LBCI.

Samaha's driver also confessed to taking part in preparing terrorist operations that were going to be carried out in the North, the TV network added.

The arrest of Samaha's driver, Fares Barakat, led to the former minister's confession, according to LBCI.

Al-Jadeed television said Samaha's arrest was based on a videotape that revealed his involvement in planning attacks in the North.

And a security source told Future TV that Samaha was plotting bombings aimed at "stirring a Sunni-Alawite strife and a Sunni-Christian strife."

His seizure came upon instructions by acting General Prosecutor Samir Hammoud for “security reasons" which MTV said were linked to an assassination attempt against al-Mustaqbal bloc’s Akkar MP Khaled al-Daher to create civil strife.

Al-Daher later told MTV that he was surprised by the report. “I don’t have any information about this case,” the lawmaker said.

Security forces linked his arrest to the seizure of explosives for the purpose of carrying out bombings in several Lebanese areas. They told LBC that the explosives were not found at his houses but elsewhere.

Hammoud refused to divulge any information, telling LBC that the interrogation should be swift.

“The appropriate judicial measures will be taken after that by either issuing an arrest warrant or setting him free,” he said.

Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi later told NBN: "The manner in which Samaha was arrested is unacceptable at all and I will request the acting general prosecutor to investigate the matter."

Later on Thursday, Samaha's bodyguard Barakat told LBCI following his release that he "did not smuggle any arms in Samaha's car from Syria to Lebanon."

"I don't know why I was arrested or the charges against me and the minister and they only asked me questions related to the minister," he added.

"I did not meet minister Samaha during the interrogation and they are writing the investigation report the way they want and the minister is the last person who would think about such bombings," Barakat went on to say.

He also confirmed that Samaha visited Syria at the beginning of this week and that he accompanied him.

Samaha is known for his pro-Syrian regime views. He was among several pro-Syrian Lebanese officials who were sanctioned in 2007 by the United States for “contributing to political and economic instability in Lebanon.”

Comments 61
Thumb geha 09 August 2012, 09:30

this traitor is the right hand of the syrian president nd has an office in his presidential palace.
here I am guessing: probably this has to do with unveiled plot to assassinate berri? especially they arrested lately a terrorist cell...
whatever, all traitors to Lebanon will end up in jail or finalized...

Default-user-icon Sam (Guest) 09 August 2012, 21:42

I agree with with you this guy is a traitor to Lebanon and should be in prison or better still send him to Syria

Thumb geha 10 August 2012, 06:32

this guy will end up dead to make sure he does nt tell what he knows. does it remind you of someone else? yes, hobeika :) when hobeika threatened to reveal what he knows, he was assassinated.

Missing roger@10452 09 August 2012, 09:44

Micho, dont worry I will bring you cigarettes to jail...TRAITOR!!!

Default-user-icon LF (Guest) 09 August 2012, 09:54

Ma bi sah ila el sahih

Missing rami 09 August 2012, 09:56

They fell in Syria, now the "others" will fall in Lebanon.

Missing lqu7 09 August 2012, 09:58

This guy was part of the late Nassib Lahoud party. So by calling him "Syrian dog" are you kids implying the same about Lahoud? Too many ignorantis giving their comments here.

Thumb slash 09 August 2012, 10:47

he has always been known that he was a syrian dog ... no Lahoud was not , but Samaha is ! Following your logic Hobeika becasue he was with Bachir Gemayel wasnt a syrian dog ?

Default-user-icon veloalm (Guest) 09 August 2012, 20:11

lqu7 you guys are really bankrupt and stupid Michel Samaha lost parliamentary election to Nassib Lahoud's Antoine Haddad he was never with Lahoud. If you want to fabricate a story at least have counterfeit document Wahhab style or use Photoshop Aoun style, geez.

Thumb Marwan34 09 August 2012, 10:03

There he goes where he belongs

Default-user-icon Abdalla Yghamme2lo (Guest) 09 August 2012, 10:21

Iqu7, you are may be mistaken this guy with Carole who is of a quite different brand from this Chabb(i7)7

Default-user-icon gaby (Guest) 09 August 2012, 10:28

i hope that everybody who's playing with the Lebanese independence will be condemned. long live Lebanon...

Default-user-icon Lebanese gal (Guest) 09 August 2012, 10:37

What a classy and intelligent bunch of people post here on Naharnet! No wonder Lebanon is deteriorating :( Shame.

Missing Rambo 09 August 2012, 13:39

Now here is an intelligent comment. People can write anything they want within the limit set by Naharnet.

Missing freesyrian 09 August 2012, 14:03

My initial comment about seeing Samaha in Damascus on a few occasions over the past few months with a leading figure in the airforce intelligence was deleted by naharnet. So much for freedom of speech i guess.

Missing freesyrian 09 August 2012, 14:03

My initial comment about seeing Samaha in Damascus on a few occasions over the past few months with a leading figure in the airforce intelligence was deleted by naharnet. So much for freedom of speech i guess.

Thumb Bandoul 09 August 2012, 15:36

I remind you that you have stated on more than one occasion that you want to shoot M14 supporters in the head and dissolve them in acid. You have never apologized or shown remorse for this incendiary statements. Immoral individuals, who have no conscience, should not cry wolf or lecture others on civility and ethics.

Thumb Bandoul 09 August 2012, 22:15

Wallaow haboub? Leich calling me punk for telling the truth <wink>?

Default-user-icon 4yr1 (Guest) 09 August 2012, 10:49

So we still can't hold free and fair elections due to the Syrian hold over Lebanon?

Thumb slash 09 August 2012, 10:54

uf uf tdeya2tei ya helwei , njara7o mache3rik ? ahama chi ma yekhod 3al khez2ak ya na3nou3 , now what Paul said compared to dissolving people in acid and shoting them in the heads hurt you ?

Default-user-icon Mouwaten Ghadban wa Erfan (Guest) 09 August 2012, 10:57

Being 8th of March or 14th of March they all didn't do anything. Enough bullshit, enough non sense politic talks. Grow up people, enough following bullshit leaders whom names are repeated continuously since the beginning of the war till date.
Leaders are only interested to stay in control by winning the elections. Every 4 years the same drama and play is repeated, and Lebanese people wait every 4 years by hoping that the minimum living requirements are supplied with bullshit talks and non sense promises.
Dear Ministers, Deputies, Presidents, political clans heads, you are dirty Pigs, dogs, unworthy to talk in the Lebanese people’s name. To go hell

Thumb slash 09 August 2012, 12:18

expat votes , the joke ... 6 MPs in one district and go for the difference ! Say thanks to aoun for that , and now you talk about the expat votes ?

Thumb slash 09 August 2012, 13:16

it is like giving you a cake and forbiding you to eat , tell me what is the use ya b3ir of having expates votes while they have 6 MPs in one district ? they should be able to vote in the district where they come from ya satl ...

Thumb anonymouslb 09 August 2012, 14:32

Absolutely :)

Missing gcb1 09 August 2012, 19:41

Exactly what I've been arguing since I've become a user on naharnet.

But people are satisfied only if their sect is in power, regardless of whether the individuals inside government are competent or not.

By the way, this goes for M8 and M14 supporters.

Thumb kesrweneh 09 August 2012, 11:38

I think Pauldiezer and Slash politness can make us win the elections, without lifting a finger (especially not the middle one)

Thumb slash 09 August 2012, 12:14

if copying and pasting FT methods of killing for you is called creativity , go back to elementary school ya na3nou3 and try to learn something !

Default-user-icon Mike,Florida. (Guest) 09 August 2012, 12:18

Simply a taste of HIS OWN MEDICINE! Finally justice is partially served!
Way to go Lebanon.The falling dictatorship in Syria starts paying off!
Long live Syria and Lebanon.

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 09 August 2012, 12:56

that is another proof of the dying syrian regime..who is next ..that is the question.

Thumb slash 09 August 2012, 13:19

la 7ad halla2 kellon men jame3tak ya FT yalli 3am y2atlo w yessr2o fa ma te3tal ham eza nater mssabtein yrab7ouk l intikhebet , ma ra7 tchem ri7eta ;)

Default-user-icon Neophyte (Guest) 09 August 2012, 13:49

Let the judicial process take its course... (Ha ha! - WHAT judicial process?!?!?)....

Anyway, I think that there is general agreement among this august crowd that this guys is scum...

Default-user-icon azertybug (Guest) 09 August 2012, 13:58

To lqu,

Just for the record :That low life was never in Lahoud's party. He was forced upon him by the zealots of syria.

Missing freesyrian 09 August 2012, 14:00

I'm not sure what that has anything to do with my statement regarding the fact that the guy is always in Damascus and probably is coordinating with Assad's Airforce intelligence to carry out crimes in Lebanon. I agree that none of the people you mentioned are patriots given that they put their family interests before their own country but that still doesn't make it ok that Michel Samaha is complicit in the attempted murder of a Lebanese politician/citizen. You should be equally harsh on him as on the other politicians you mentioned. Right?

Missing freesyrian 09 August 2012, 14:02

And I really meant it when I said that I saw him there at least 3 times over the past 5 months. Same spot as well. Sheraton Lobby in the bar area that's next to the front desk. He was also with the same guy all three times. Suspicious don't you think?

Default-user-icon azertybug (Guest) 09 August 2012, 14:13

To FT:
You are an ignorant and a malicious person. The late Mr LAHOUD Nassib was a man of honor, whose hands were not smeared with the blood of innocent and unarmed citizens (may 7th), was cleaner and more honorable than drug smuggling HA deputies. A true lebanese who did not get so low as you and hour fpm freinds to post such crap on the internet.
Go get a shower and clean your brain cause it stinks and make people vomit.

Thumb anonymouslb 09 August 2012, 14:27

A pro-syrian politician arrested with the political cover of a pro-syrian government... Something smells fishy..;
Anyway, I hope all the pro-syrian, pro-saudi, pro-iranian, pro-israeli, pro-US politicians will be arrested soon for high treason...

Thumb Bandoul 09 August 2012, 15:50

I don't know who this guy is to be honest. Maybe he knows something about the Syrian regime that puts the regime in a bad light and now that the regime is on its last leg it wants to make sure he doesn't talk before it is too late to silence him? Just guessing...

Missing gcb1 09 August 2012, 19:39

More speculation and no sources bandoul? Please, spare us this flawed methodology of political analysis.

Thumb Bandoul 09 August 2012, 22:19

LOL, look who's calling the kettle black! What part of "I don't know" and "Just guessing" tripped you up?

Missing gcb1 09 August 2012, 22:57

What tripped me up? The fact that you don't know and you're just guessing and yet still speculate lol.

Thumb anonymouslb 09 August 2012, 14:32

And let's not forget he's innocent until proven guilty...

Missing allouchi 09 August 2012, 15:34

Michel Samaha is a member of the M8 camp and a well known Syrian agent...so who's trying to create chaos in Lebanon? very simple really, SYRIA, IRAN and their Lebanese cronies so they can stay in power and help their foreign masters achieve whatever goals they are after regardless of the suffering of Lebanese economy, security and well being...most M8rs are a bunch of traitors...

Missing gcb1 09 August 2012, 19:38

For all of your statements, not one source to accompany them.

Geez, you wouldn't last an hour in university.

Missing allouchi 09 August 2012, 20:39

gcb1, you're not very bright are you?

Missing gcb1 09 August 2012, 21:12

Of course allouchi, your response is an insult. Didn't expect much more from you anyway.

Thumb Bandoul 09 August 2012, 15:37

I remind you that you have stated on more than one occasion that you want to shoot M14 supporters in the head and dissolve them in acid. You have never apologized or shown remorse for these incendiary statements. Immoral individuals, who have no conscience, should not cry wolf or lecture others on civility and ethics.

Missing allouchi 09 August 2012, 15:38

FT, ALWAYS misses the point LOL

Thumb Bandoul 09 August 2012, 15:46

Bala tahzeeb, bala marba, bala akhle2 and bala sharaf is lecturing others on tahzeeb, marba akhle2 and sharaf? Keep it up...it just reminds us that what comes around goes around. You'll get your turn 7abboub <wink> I have faith in God that the likes of you will get their judgment day just like the rest of us!

Default-user-icon Omar Dalli (Guest) 09 August 2012, 16:11

it is a bad women language, you can talk as men when you decide, we are proud of the israelean killers (Hezbollah) while we are not proudf of Katarian dogs, israelean dogs, saudian dogs, american dogs and bitches

Default-user-icon Moh. Fa (Guest) 09 August 2012, 18:26

ya chabeb w sabaya , yaraytkoun bytcheelo kel souwar el zo3ama , madi wa hader , shaheed wa mojrem w btehtamo bi chi taneh yinfa3 hal balad .. el syaseh ghasseel dmagh a3l fadeh. no one is right , no one is wrong , but that is not the point . It is only a divertion to distract people from social pressure & citizens basic needs .
Stick to the streets , follow your rights & needs not a party or a politician and they will fall one by one until a real state of order & services takes over ...

Missing gcb1 09 August 2012, 19:42

Nope, another well raised typical Lebanese political follower. Unfortunately, it is not just M14 supporters that fit this category.

Default-user-icon Fraps (Guest) 09 August 2012, 19:43

He's probably innocent, but he deserves jail anyway.

Missing gcb1 09 August 2012, 19:45

You are all blinded by these politicians. When a problem occurs, M8 blames it on M14, and M14 blames it on M8. In the end, we've had no progress, and yet we sit and bicker about whose fault it was without providing any tangible solutions. The one solutions you do provide involve violence and the marginalization of a segment of the Lebanese population.

Overall, none of these people you all follow have done anything for you. Nothing. We still have no water and electricity. We still have no rule of law. We still have corruption. We still have no plans to get out of our debt. We still can't attract any foreign investment. You each have your flawed reasons for these problems, but you all miss the fundamental problem in our political system: our sectarian attitude leads to incompetent and unaccountable politicians, whose only job is to accuse and not actually do something.

Default-user-icon Sky (Guest) 09 August 2012, 20:11

Geagea is a mass murderer and he got out from jail. This guy will do short time and then out again and more popular then ever. Still with facts authorities have on criminal acts politicians have committed and still are committing and still at large, this is very political arrest.

Default-user-icon God (Guest) 09 August 2012, 21:27

I can't believe how many people are falling over each other to defend this low life brown nose

Default-user-icon Finally (Guest) 09 August 2012, 23:10

This comment goes to anyone with a bit of logic in Lebanon... Even the FPMs... Is it too far fetched to beleive this guy isn't plotting or hasnt plotted attempts on key officials? Plus if they say there is video soon enough it will be leaked... And if then we see officials demanding his release... Especially from Aoun...Then we will c who wants a state and who enjoys lawless streets and picking up crumbs. Let's all hope the Vedio is clear enough to implicate our ex MP.

Default-user-icon adam (Guest) 10 August 2012, 09:05

instead of thinking how to avoid the pit falls of sectarianism and destroying each other and your country, I feel sorry I am Lebanese. you are in serious trouble this war will not end in 50 years. those who are laughing at each other misery you will drink from the same cup .instead of sharing thoughts how to work out the situation with each other you try to be little each other so the west will think your civilized and your fighting for democracy. what I see from each and every one is an animal behavior

Default-user-icon adam (Guest) 10 August 2012, 09:07

instead of thinking how to avoid the pit falls of sectarianism and destroying each other and your country, I feel sorry I am Lebanese. you are in serious trouble this war will not end in 50 years. those who are laughing at each other misery you will drink from the same cup .instead of sharing thoughts how to work out the situation with each other you try to be little each other so the west will think your civilized and your fighting for democracy. what I see from each and every one is an animal behavior

Default-user-icon lapolizia (Guest) 11 August 2012, 01:32

He should be beheaded, he already confessed, what are they waiting for?

Default-user-icon ghassan (Guest) 11 August 2012, 12:39

How can we ever have a country if we keep cursing at each other? Most posts here are shameful, be it m8 or m14. For once people, think of Lebanon, the country all our kids will live in and what kind of legacy we keep to them.

If semaha truely betrayed his country then he should be punished accordingly, end of story. This is the logic in any country, grand treason is never taken lightly.

Stop debating your m8 and m14 ideals. It's completely futile when you look at the big picture that is your country, Lebanon for all.

Default-user-icon Cherie (Guest) 22 December 2012, 16:14

Great post. I'm dealing with a few of these issues as well..