Charbel Says Lebanon Couldn’t be Base for al-Qaida

Posted on December 31, 2011

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by Naharnet Newsdesk 18 hours ago
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel denied on Friday any al-Qaida presence in Lebanon, stressing that the country could be a route for the group but not a base.

He said during a press conference at the ministry that Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn’s statements on al-Qaida were taken out of context.

Asked about the Lebanese authorities’ attempt to arrest the four suspects accused by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon of being behind ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, Charbel said: “We carried out our duties… they were able to escape but we are still pursuing them.”

The minister confirmed that his ministry implements all STL requests within 48 hours.

Charbel stated the achievements of the Interior Ministry during the past 6 months, revealing the arrest of 11 Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian nationals who carried out 122 crimes including killings and robberies across Lebanon.

He told the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Friday that the Central Security Council took important measures to preserve security in Lebanon.

“The Council discussed the accomplishments achieved by the security and military during the year,” he said about the meeting he presided at his office in the ministry on Tuesday.

Charbel noted that the Council’s meeting is a routine procedure taken at the end of each year.

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