Germany to boost Lebanon's security

Germany to boost Lebanon

The German government has passed intelligence concerning terrorist elements which have recently infiltrated Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon to the government in Beirut, Al-Nahar reported on Friday. Christoph Heusgen, chief foreign policy and security consultant to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, reportedly made an unannounced visit to Lebanon on Thursday. During the visit, he told the country's leaders that terrorists from Arab states had entered Lebanon and infiltrated the camps. There are about a dozen Palestinian camps in Lebanon, housing over 400,000 registered refugees. A series of bloody clashes between Palestinian insurgents and Lebanese security forces at the Nahr al-Bared camp in 2007 led to greater government interference in the running of the camps and their security. Heusgen urged the Lebanese government to implement measures which would enable control not only of the situation in the camps, but also of the country's borders and airports. Germany, he said, would readily provide the necessary equipment. The German diplomat met in Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri, President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Ali Shami. Meanwhile on Friday, Al-Nahar reported that an alleged member of the Fatah al-Islam terrorist organization was arrested in a Beirut raid by the Lebanese military. According to the report, the suspect's activities had been monitored for eight months before the arrest was made. He was said to be a resident of one of the Palestinian refugee camps in the northern part of the country, who was staying at an apartment in western Beirut. Apparently, he had been planning a terrorist act prior to his arrest. According to the report, the man is considered a particularly "big fish," due to the threat level attributed to him and his past involvement in terror activity. The country's Al-Liwaa newspaper confirmed reports of the arrest.