Lebanon: 13 charged with planning terror attacks

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January 16, 2006 22:13
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Lebanon's top military magistrate officially charged and issued arrest warrants Monday against 13 people for planning to carry out terror attacks. The 13 had been described by the state-run National News Agency as al-Qaida suspects, but magistrate Rashi Mezher said so far he has no proof of whether they are members of Osama bin Laden's terror network. After several hours of questioning, the 13 were charged with "establishing a gang to carry out terrorist acts, forging official and private documents and possessing unlicensed arms," Mezher told The Associated Press. The 13 - seven Syrians, three Lebanese, a Saudi, a Jordanian and a Palestinian, were detained earlier this month in different areas in Lebanon after being put under surveillance by Lebanese security forces. Although al-Qaida has rarely carried out attacks in Lebanon, it is believed that the group has supporters and sympathizers among extremist factions hiding in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

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