Lebanese Intelligence Agency detain ISIS terror cell in Ersal on Syrian border
The Lebanese Directorate of General Security announced on Wednesday the arrest of members of a ISIS cell in the town of Ersal on the border with Syria.
“[Three] citizens of Syria, accused of being involved in the ISIS terrorist group, were detained as part of a surveillance [mission] of sleeper terrorist cells and pursuit of their members, as was directed by the head office,” the intelligence agency said in a statement.
According to the statement, the first among those detained joined ISIS in Ersal under the leadership of a Syrian nicknamed Abu Bakar Al-Qari. He used social networks to form a group that answered to ISIS. Members of the recruited group were expected to be armed for further activities in Lebanon.
The detainees had direct contact with the leaders of ISIS in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Europe and Turkey. They also distributed videos with instructions on creating explosives from readily available materials. The oldest of the detained individuals had created explosives himself with the aim of killing certain Ersal residents and attacking Lebanese army patrols, the statement read.
In December, Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said security forces had conducted an operation to prevent a series of blasts in the country, which had been plotted by a terrorist group headquartered in Syria’s Idlib. The minister noted that the terrorists had been planning to attack cultural sites and military institutions during the election period.