Saturday, July 14, 2007

Lebanese fear growth of Islamic militancy

by Tom A. Peter from The Christian Science Monitor

Eight weeks after the Lebanese Army began battling Al Qaeda-inspired militants in northern Lebanon and three weeks after the army declared victory, the fighting rages on ... The New York Times reports that Lebanon's continuing instability may provide foreign militants with the opportunity to establish training bases in the restive country. Maj. Gen. Achraf Rifi, head of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces, estimates that the remaining fighters in Nahr al-Bared include well-trained militants from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen and Algeria who have participated in the Iraqi insurgency. Shakir al-Abssi, Fatah al Islam's leader was an associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia who was killed in a US air strike last year.

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