Lebanon thwarts ISIS plan to carry out three suicide bombings
Lebanon's Interior Minister announces the arrest of a terrorist group that recruits young men to carry out suicide attacks on religious compounds in Beirut's southern suburbs.
Lebanon has thwarted a plan by an ISIS group to carry out three suicide bombings targeting three religious compounds in Beirut's southern suburbs, the interior ministry announced Wednesday.
Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi told a press conference that "A terrorist group had recruited young Palestinian men in Lebanon to carry out major bombing attacks using explosive belts" and other munitions.
"Three separate targets were to be hit at the same time," the ministry said, in an operation Mawlawi said would have caused a large loss of life.
Undercover ISF agent
Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (ISF) confirmed the instructions for the bomb plot came from an IS operative based in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain Al-Hilweh, who is in touch with extremists in Syria.
The instructions were passed to an undercover ISF agent who had managed to infiltrate IS networks in Lebanon.
Preparing attacks on religious compounds
On February 7, the ISF agent was instructed to prepare attacks on religious compounds in the Al-Laylaki neighborhood, the Imam Al-Kazem compound in Haret Hreik and the Al-Nasser mosque in Beirut's Ouzai suburb, the ISF mentioned.
He was given three explosive vests and other weapons to carry out the attacks on February 16, the ISF added.
It is noteworthy that earlier this year, Lebanon announced dismantling 17 Israeli spy networks, in the largest anti-spy operation in Lebanon over the past 13 years.