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As-Sharq al-Awsat

ISIS recruited French citizen
arrested by security forces

BEIRUT - The French citizen who was arrested last week by security forces at the Napoleon Hotel in Beirut’s Hamra admitted that he was recruited by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to carry out a suicide attack in Lebanon, according to a report published Wednesday by As-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper.

 

“The French man confessed that the ISIS recruited him outside [Lebanon] and assigned him to move to Lebanon and prepare himself to carry out a suicide operation, which he would be told the location and timing of at a later time,” a security source told the daily.

 

“The French detainee arrived from France to Beirut a week before his arrest, accompanied by another man who was assigned a similar mission,” the source added.

 

The two men headed to the Napoleon Hotel in Hamra, where a room was booked in their name by other people whom they claimed they did not know.

 

The French man and the other unidentified man were waiting to carry out the operation, but the latter changed his mind and left Lebanon through the Rafiq Hariri International Airport last Wednesday, two days before the hotel was raided.

 

“Security forces are trying to identify the other man’s identity by searching through the General Security’s data at the airport,” the source noted.

 

The French man also confessed that several people came to the hotel to give him money to pay for the hotel expenses and the food. However, he claimed that he did not know his visitors.

 

He also said that he was waiting for someone to take him from the hotel and hand him a booby-trapped car and lead him to the targeted location.

 

The source also said that the man was providing little information, and that the investigation was progressing very slowly.

 

Members of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces arrested last Friday 102 people in Beirut’s Hamra Street and neighboring areas following reports of terror plots targeting an Amal Movement conference and General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim.

 

85 people were subsequently released, while 17 remained in custody for further investigations, the ISF said in a statement. 

 

The National News Agency reported that the arrested suspects had entered Lebanon with Arab passports.

The French detainee arrived from France to Beirut a week before his arrest, accompanied by another man who was assigned a similar mission.