Lebanon 'foils terror plot' that triggered Western travel warnings
Army intelligence said on Friday in a statement that it “carried out several raids arresting 19 people linked to a cell” belonging to Islamic State, the army said in a statement. Security forces were taking extra precautions, it added, according to Reuters.
The cell which had “planned and prepared to carry out terrorist action” was led by Egyptian Fadi Ibrahim Ahmed, who was based in the Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, the army said.
Lebanon’s Interior Ministry said earlier it was looking into warnings issued by foreign embassies over potential attacks in the country, but that there was no need to panic.
“These warnings are based on information from a foreign intelligence agency,” the ministry said.
“Lebanese security services are following up to check its authenticity and accuracy ... There is no cause for fear or exaggeration.”
The French Embassy in Beirut urged French citizens in Lebanon on Friday to be vigilant over the next 48 hours, citing an “elevated risk of attack targeting public places”.
The US Embassy said earlier in the week it had barred staff from visiting the Casino du Liban in Jounieh, north of Beirut. Canada also warned its citizens on Thursday to avoid that area.
In response to the warnings, Lebanon's Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling on embassies to “take into account” the panic their statements may cause.
“We confirm that the Lebanese state, in all of its components – as is the case in all free nations – has its eye on the protection of its citizens and all residents on its soil without exception,” it read.