Security Agencies Tasked with Protecting Threatened Officials as Charbel Admits to Shortcomingsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister Najib Miqati chaired on Wednesday a security meeting at the Grand Serail to tackle the threats directed against a number of March 14 opposition lawmakers and officials.
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said after the meeting: “Regardless of all our training and preparations, we can only provide them with 50-60 percent protection.”
“We charged the ISF to employ all its agencies, in cooperation with other security apparatuses, to protect the politicians as much as possible,” he remarked after the meeting that was attended by General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim, Acting Internal Security Forces chief Roger Salem, and state security chief George Qaraa.
“We hope to find the solution to the problem at the nearest opportunity and until ISF chief Ashraf Rifi returns” from abroad, he stated.
“No one can be a hundred percent protected,” he said.
Commenting on the threat against MPs, Charbel said: “Some figures have security fears. All Lebanese have these fears.”
“These figures should limit their mobility and resort to secrecy when they do so,” he added.
“That way we can cooperate with them and hope to resolve this issue,” continued the minister.
“There is no doubt that protecting figures requires almost weekly training and coordination between the various security agencies,” he added.
“It is necessary to purchase and prepare the needed equipment that can be used to protect the officials, but such equipment is currently unavailable,” revealed Charbel.
Training is required and “protecting individuals requires the greatest training,” he explained to reporters.
In October, March 14 alliance MPs Ammar Houri, Ahmed Fatfat, Hadi Hbeish, Khaled al-Daher and Nuhad al-Mashnouq said that they were texted death threats from a Syrian telephone number before and after Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau head Wissam al-Hasan's assassination.
Hasan was killed in a car bomb in Beirut's Ashrafiyeh district on October 19.