Despite the relative calm of Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps in recent months, experts warn that Islamist groups are still operating within and could strike at any time.

At Ain al-Helweh, the largest of Lebanon’s 12 camps, which is known to harbour extremists and fugitives, small sleeper cells have kept a low profile but could mobilize quickly depending on developments, they say.

“In theory, this is the sort of environment al-Qaida, for example, generally chooses for its sleeper cells, which could be used at any time,” said Hazem al-Amin, a journalist and expert on regional Islamist groups.

“And that is not a reassuring thought. It might not happen immediately, but it is always a possibility.”

His comments came as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas discussed the plight of the refugees with Lebanese officials on Monday. Source: Times of India

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