"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Friday, January 13, 2006

COPS BUSY IN LEBANON

THE DAILY STAR: Lebanese authorities arrest 13 Al-Qaeda suspects
Lebanese authorities have arrested 13 people suspected of belonging to the Al-Qaeda terror network, the official National News Agency reported on Friday. Military court prosecutor Ahmad Oweidat charged the 13 on Friday with "establishing a gang to carry out terrorist acts, forging official and private documents and possessing unlicensed arms."

The 13, three Lebanese, seven Syrians, a Saudi, a Jordanian and a Palestinian, were arrested in various Lebanese areas last week after they were put under surveillance by Lebanese security forces, court officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Asked if any of the 13 were members of Al-Qaeda, Oweidat told The Associated Press: "This information is not contained in the file referred to me." But he added that the group's possible Al-Qaeda link would be examined during further investigation by top military magistrate Rashid Mezher.

According to judicial sources, the 13 have given contradictory statements, claiming at times that they were part of Al-Qaeda and at other times part of "Jund Al-Sham," an Islamic radical organization which claimed responsibility for the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri shortly after his killing.
THE PENINSULA (AFP):
Syrian arrested in Lebanon over Hariri probe - Lebanese authorities yesterday arrested a Syrian national for giving false testimony to investigators trying to shed light on the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Al Hariri, a judicial source said.
We are systematically getting all our ducks in a row...

BTW: almost exactly one year ago - to the day - I wrote this prescient post: THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS GOES THROUGH BEIRUT. Today, I'll go out on a limb and predict that before July Fourth, Assad will be living in exile and an interim government in Damascus will be planning elections in Syria.

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