US Embassy in Beirut new regional intelligence headquarters: Report
A report by Intelligence Online says Lebanon is considered both a safe and strategic location for deploying intelligence agents already present in the region.
A report published by Intelligence Online suggested that the United States is eager to maintain its presence in Lebanon through its 93,000 square meters embassy complex that is currently under construction on a 27-hectare site in the town of Awkar.
According to the website, the new $1bn mega-complex will include a data-collecting facility, preparing the site to be the new regional headquarters for US intelligence.
Things are progressing at our new compound! pic.twitter.com/Eb7ogVCAHX— U.S. Embassy Beirut (@usembassybeirut) May 5, 2023
It highlighted that due to its closeness to Syria, "Lebanon is considered both a safe and strategic location for deploying intelligence agents already present in the region as well as new personnel, drawn directly from Washington-based agencies."
Intelligence Online added that "Washington intends to take advantage of its excellent intel-sharing partnership - especially concerning Hezbollah - with the Lebanese Armed Forces' (LAF) military intelligence unit, B2."
"US funding of the LAF - it received another $60m last December - comes with a guarantee of unlimited Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) access to its intelligence." the website mentioned.
New US embassy in Beirut.— The Mind Scourge (@TheMindScourge) May 22, 2023
Like most new US diplomatic facilities, it’s a fortress. There’s a massive curtain wall and the top of the mountain has been carved out.
As an engineering and industrial effort, it’s very impressive
But diplomacy is obviously secondary pic.twitter.com/rjjceFXLDe
The new photos of the US embassy compound have sparked widespread controversy recently, as some social media users questioned the purpose of having such a huge embassy in Beirut.
Activists also described the new building as a military base under the guise of an embassy.
The users also called on the Lebanese government to clarify the reason for accepting and facilitating the construction of the new US Embassy.