Monday, March 26, 2007

Report: Sunni militants in Iraq target Lebanon as 'soft target'

Left: Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon. In February, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh reported that to undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. As part of this effort in Lebanon, the Administration is cooperating with Saudi Arabia’s Sunni government in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Sunni militants are moving into Lebanon from Iraq because they regard it as a soft target for terrorist attacks, a British government minister has warned.

Several cells, each with up to 12 members, are said to be operating out of the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon.

Kim Howells, the Foreign Office minister, spoke out about the danger posed by the emergence of new Sunni jihadists in Palestinian camps after a briefing by the commander of the 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force.

Read the rest at the Telegraph

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