Daesh leader’s arrest prevented attacks in Lebanon: Interior minister

Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk talks during a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon, January 19, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 20 January 2018

Daesh leader’s arrest prevented attacks in Lebanon: Interior minister

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s interior minister said Internal Security Forces (ISF) in June 2017 arrested Abu Jaafar Al-Iraqi, a Daesh leader, preventing terrorist attacks during the Christmas holidays.

Nohad Machnouk visited the ISF directorate on Friday and was accompanied by Gen. Emad Othman, the directorate’s director-general, to congratulate its leadership on the “extraordinary efforts in carrying out that exceptional security operation.”

The minister held a press conference, during which a documentary about the operation and its implications was featured.

Al-Iraqi, who was living secretly in Lebanon, “was forced to work” for the ISF “for five months without Daesh’s leadership knowing of his arrest,” said Machnouk.

“A volunteer source was contacted to call him on a daily basis, and rented a highly monitored house for him in the mountains,” he added.

“The result was the disclosure of all terrorist attacks that were to be carried out during the past five months.”

Al-Iraqi said Daesh could not carry out any attacks in Lebanon due to the state’s military and security measures.

Machnouk said: “The security operation was named Safe Lebanon to assure the Lebanese people as well as Arabs that Lebanon’s security was managed in a highly professional manner.”

Turkey asks Albania to close US-based cleric’s businesses

Updated 49 min 56 sec ago

Turkey asks Albania to close US-based cleric’s businesses

TIRANA, Albania: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says he expects Albania to close all businesses owned by Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Turkish cleric Ankara blames for an attempted coup two years ago.
Cavusoglu, in the Albanian capital of Tirana on Friday, said Ankara has formally asked Tirana “to close all the institutions that hold anti-Turkey activity in Albania,” considering them “a serious threat for Turkey and Albania too.”
Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati said that “as a NATO member country, a candidate country for the European Union,” Tirana follows standard diplomatic procedures.
Gulen, who denies the coup charges, owns a network of schools and businesses in Albania.
Earlier this year, neighboring Kosovo secretly deported five teachers and a doctor back to Turkey. The deportations were criticized by the US ambassador and students.