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Lebanon: Rising Security Fears ahead of Ramadan - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut- Security fears have doubled on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan over continuous threats made by ISIS and al-Nusra Front.

Al-Nusra spokesman in Syria’s Qalamoun region Sirajeddine Zuraiqat said lately in a series of tweets that militants should be ready for jihad during Ramadan.

Security forces have gone on alert to thwart possible attacks by the two organizations. According to Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq, police were lately able to stop three ISIS assaults from taking place.

A raid carried out by an army unit on Thursday in the town of Kherbet Daoud, which lies in the northern district of Akkar, seems to fall in line with the recent measures taken by security agencies.

Security sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the army’s operation was “preemptive.”

The army said in a statement that one of its units raided an ISIS cell in Akkar’s town of Kherbet Daoud early Thursday, killing a terrorist and arresting three ISIS militants.

The extremist militant cell was said to have been responsible for the killing of three Lebanese soldiers and injuring an officer with the rank of first adjutant in the Interior Ministry’s information branch, the statement added.

The security sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that “there are increasing security fears on the eve of Ramadan.”

“Exceptional measures are being taken to deal with this stage,” said the sources.

“The army and the rest of the agencies are on alert and are ready to confront any possible terrorist attack,” they added.

Asked if the preemptive operations are carried out in cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies, the sources said: “Most of the efforts are exerted internally. But without any doubt, we rely on some information from abroad to prepare for our operations.”

Field sources in Kherbet Daoud told Asharq Al-Awsat that the arrested suspects are brothers. Another of their siblings is in jail on terrorism charges. The fifth is a military defector who was killed around two months ago when troops tried to arrest him.

One of the detainees, Samir Saadeddine, is the ringleader. He was jailed for six months and released a year ago, said the sources.

They added that the members of the network used to move in the town at night and relied on logistics teams for their transportation and food.