At least five people were killed and 20 others wounded in a car bomb attack that rocked the Beirut southern suburb of Haret Hreik. The booby-trapped car exploded near al-Manar television’s old building on al-Arid Street in Haret Hreik, the TV network said. The bombing occurred hundreds of meters away from the headquarters of Hizbullah’s political bureau, al-Manar said, after media reports said the blast went off near the HQ. According to Naharnet post.
According to LBC news, the Lebanese General Security arrests Al-Nusra Front militant in Halat as he prepared explosives. Let’s see if those whom I previously criticized concerning their stand in Maaloula, will comment on this event. Didn’t they want Halat airport or Hamat airport to open? They feared Hizbullah right? Now they go al-Nusra (Qaeda) members preparing for bombs in their own backyard. They used to talk about “fertile ground” right? So what will they say about Jabhat al-Nusra in Halat preparing bombs? Halat is not Tripoli …
We thought that we will not have to smell it again.
We thought that those days are over.
We thought that after all these years of war and destruction we had learned our lesson.
We thought we will not see death on streets anymore.
We thought we will never see burned bodies in their cars anymore.
We thought we will never have to pick up people by pieces from streets, balconies, …
We thought we will not see red blood mixed with car oil, firefighters water, … on the streets.
From Dahyeh (Beirut suburb) to Tripoli (North Lebanon), the angel of death passed by and reminded us that we were wrong.
The ugly faces and speeches of politicians brought us back to reality. Lebanese are bunch of ignorant, bunch of fool, bunch of idiots for marching and clapping for these politicians.
The angel of death will keep collecting lives in ugliest ways as long as these politicians are running the country.
They all denounced the car bombs the first day. On the second day, they all showed their ugly faces and their rented mouth. Yes their rented mouth, because each one of them is bought by a regional or international power. The game of blaming began and none of them really cared about the innocent blood that was shed on the streets from Dahyeh to Tripoli.
These politicians and their supporters are partners in slaughtering the country.
According to Global News, a Lebanese man (Louay Khalil) was deported from Canada on July 17, 2013 for “serious criminality”. He was convicted of two sex offences. One of the charges allegedly involved a developmentally disabled woman. He served his prison term in Canada and now he is in Lebanon.
The question that poses itself was Mr. Khalil been questioned once he entered Lebanon? Was he put under surveillance? Were his neighbors notified of his crimes in Canada? Who is doing a follow up on him? Who is making sure that he doesn’t commit similar crimes in Lebanon?
A car bomb late Thursday afternoon went off on the main road between the Al-Roueiss and Bir al-Abed areas of Beirut’s Hezbollah-stronghold of Dahiyeh, leaving at least 27 people dead and 230 injured. There are different ideas on who placed the bomb but this is not the subject I am tackling in this article.
This car explosion wasn’t directed against a political leader, a military on security official from Hizballah. It was placed to kill innocent people or maybe supporters of Hizbullah. In short, its purpose is to kill civilians, spread terror among Lebanese and maybe put a final sword in the Sunnite-Shiite relation in Lebanon.
Regardless of the purpose behind this bomb, March 14 leaders failed to grasp a major opportunity to close the schism between the shiite community and the rest of the Lebanese. The first day, March 14 leaders declared their sorrow for such bombing and the next day used this bombing that killed innocent people to attack Hizbullah involvement inside Syria. Some, like MP Nadim Gemayel, went further and held Hassan Nasrallah responsible for this attack due to his policy in Syria. Yet none of March 14 criticized the involvement of Sunnite fighters in Syria. It is to note that Sunnite fighters entered Syria way before Hizbullah decided to enter the battle. Never heard them opposing using Lebanese borders to send sunnite and Qaeda fighters from Lebanon to Syria.
As usual, they failed in making a step that might have helped our situation in Lebanon. Only the Deputy Head of Kataeb party Sejaan Azzi did so. He visited the place of the bombing and stood with the innocent people. He didn’t attack Hizbullah political stand and instead he used this sad moment to call for unity among the Lebanese political party.
Chapeau Mr. Azzi.
“This leaked request asks the Ministry of Information to turn over the contents of all ‘DATA Sessions,’ Meaning the Data sessions of all 3G and 2G data subscribers in Lebanon. These include log files. The log files detail access to Internet websites and IP addresses. Aside from the log files, the requests ask for usernames, phone numbers, addresses, names, passwords, and so on. The request asks for personal information including the applications that are used on the mobile phones of subscribers. The request asks for all data of this nature within the time-frame of 13/9/2012 until 10/11/2012.’”
In search for leads in the assassination of General Wissam al-Hassan, the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) asked the Ministry of telecommunication to hand over the content of all SMS text messages sent between September 13 and November 10 of this year, as well as usernames and passwords for services like Blackberry Messenger, Whatsapp and Facebook.
There is nothing wrong in intelligence services in the country to monitor the internet activities of certain people or group that might be a danger to the security of the country. It could be understandable if the ISF asked for all the SMS or Messages sent via different apps on specific dates and in the area of the assassination, if they don’t have any suspect. In case they have a suspect, the ISF would need a judge order to collect his data. What is shocking is this blanket request for digital communication data.
As usual, this is Lebanon and everything is politically charged. We understand the ISF eagerness to find who is behind the assassination of one its officers but that eagerness should not cross the line and steps upon the privacy of millions of Lebanese. The ISF should not label everyone as a suspect in their search of the real killer. It is illegal and must stay illegal to dig into the chats and messages of millions without a court order.
Lebanese ministers voiced their rejection of the ISF’s request for all mobile phone SMS and internet data in the two months prior to the assassination of ISF Intelligence Chief Wissam al-Hassan. Lebanese Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui said that his ministry will give the Internal Security Forces’ intelligence branch the SMS activity data without the content of the SMS messages. With a court order, the ISF should get the SMS activity in the area of the assassination. If a certain activity looks suspicious or might generate leads in the investigation, another court order must be provided in order to reveal the content of the data.
From his part, Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi referred to Article 104 of the Lebanese Constitution to determine the legality of the data request made by the security forces. “Article 104 of the constitution stipulates that a judicial committee should be set up to determine whether the request is legal or not.” Qortbawi said that “the judicial committee agreed that the request is illegal … The French system, which is at the base of the Lebanese Constitution, prohibits the access to nationwide information.”
Any request by any security or intelligence service in Lebanon must be inline with people personal privacy. It is illegal to treat people millions of Lebanese as guilty of an assassination in order to find leads and those behind the assassination.
Two bank robberies in three days. Today The Fenicia Bank, Achrafieh branch was robbed by two masked gunmen. On Tuesday, Bank Byblos in the town of Shouaifat was robbed by armed men. The same bank was robbed six months ago. The Fenicia Bank is the fifth bank robbery in the past two months. The Societe Generale de Banque au Liban (SGBL) branch in Kfarshima and The Banque Libano-Francaise , Dbayeh branch are among these banks.
These robberies indicate three things:
- Lack of security
- The bad economic situation
- Possible financing of terrorist activities
Closing roads in the North, in the South, Syrian army bombarding Lebanese villages, Kidnapping for ransom, assassination attempts, ….. and lately banks armed robberies are clear indication that the government started to lose its hands and can’t control the security in the country.
Another indication for these robberies is the bad economic situation in the country. The Syrian uprising and its effect on Lebanon is what keeping foreign investors from investing in new projects. The country depends heavily on foreign investment to offset the deficit. The IMF estimates that 2011 deficit is around $5.6 billion. The tourism sectors is taking a huge hit this summer, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain have warned their citizens against travelling to Lebanon because of the shaky security situation. Add to that the minimum wage hike that was approved by the government that is adding to business owners in the country.
The most dangerous aspect is the possibility of financing terrorism activities with the robbed money from the banks. Fateh al-Islam rubbed several banks in 2007 and 2008 in order to finance its activities.
The Syrian situation is taking its toll on Lebanon.
Have we ever discovered in Lebanon the people who are behind assassinations? Bachir Gemayel, Mufti Khaled, Rene Mouawad, ….. the list is long. The latest attest attempt on MP Boutros Harb will never be solved. In the past couple of days it turned out that in the same building, the Minister of defense has an apartment, a high ranking Hizbullah officer was visiting his dentist in the same building for the past week (according to al-Joumhuria newsaper) and the latest today, Lawyer Hussam Bazii who has an office in the building said that there was an attempt on his life earlier and people tried to kidnap him due to a 50 million dollar case he is working on.
Who was the real target? We will never know. Politicians were assassinated before and we never knew the killers. The Lebanese country were killed during the war and the result? The killers became MPs and Ministers ….
“Let the Ikhwan Rule” this is what Samir Geagea said a month ago. He added let us not judge before we see their rule. The new LF, as it seems, as well as it followers, forgot what a Muslim law means for Christians in the region. They only see the Shiaa “Wilayat al Faqih” threat. I’m not sure how they can differentiate between them.
I received today the regular Middle East Forum daily newsletter. The letter contains a link to “Graphic Video: Muslims Slaughter Convert to Christianity in Tunisia”. You don’t have to see the video (it is really gruesome). MEF posted a summary: ”A young man appears held down by masked men. His head is pulled back, with a knife to his throat. He does not struggle and appears resigned to his fate. Speaking in Arabic, the background speaker, or “narrator,” chants a number of Muslim prayers and supplications, mostly condemning Christianity, which, because of the Trinity, is referred to as a polytheistic faith: “Let Allah be avenged on the polytheist apostate”; “Allah empower your religion, make it victorious against the polytheists”; “Allah, defeat the infidels at the hands of the Muslims”; “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”
Then, to cries of “Allahu Akbar!”—or, “God is great!”—the man holding the knife to the apostate’s throat begins to slice away, even as the victim appears calmly mouthing a prayer. It takes nearly two minutes of graphic knife-carving to sever the Christian’s head, which is then held aloft to more Islamic cries and slogans of victory.
It seems some can only talk about “Wilayat al-Faqih” and tend to make other crimes more acceptable. “Let the Ikhwan Rule” …… If this is the case, how come the Lebanese Forces gave thousands of martyrs so the “Ikhwan don’t rule”???
I tackled this subject before The percentage of criminals in Lebanon. Yesterday the Interior Minister of Lebanon, Marwan Charbel (with tears in his eyes) said: “The security situation has reached a very dangerous stage.” If you read the criminal section in any Lebanese Newspaper you will find 40-50 arrest done per day due to criminal crimes. The minister added that the security forces are incapable of controlling the situation. My dear Minister if the responsible of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) can’t come up with a plan to bring the level of crimes down, why you didn’t fire them? You also said yesterday that the ISF lack numbers and hardware. Dear Minister I do not have the latest numbers of the ISF members but I think in 2008 the number was around 23,500. I am sure you added few thousands in the past 3 years. So you have around 25,000 members to control a population of 4 millions. We are talking about the ISF only and not other security forces. Do you know dear Minister that New York City Police department has 34,500 to control over 8 million people. Oh by the way, they only carry guns and only special units have MP5. Your ISF have hand guns, AK47….
The minister added that the ISF also needs “Valid Policy”. Well this policy should come from your government. If the government you are in can’t produce a correct policy or political decisions, why are you still part of it? You complained yesterday how some politicize the demand for communication Data for the ISF. Those are ministers in your government. Why you don’t face them in public and if you are not able to do so, again why don’t you resign?
The best part is when asked about al-Qaeda presence in Lebanon, the Minister denied its presence and he added if a person belongs to al-qaeda comes to Lebanon from Yemen and then travels to Syria it doesn’t mean we have al-Qaeda base in Lebanon. Mr. Minister don’t you think that in order for him to do such trip he needs at least a logistic organization that facilitates his transfers? In intelligence dear Minister this means that al-Qaeda has a good logistic base in Lebanon.