Charbel questions credibility of Ghosn’s reports on al-Qaida


Lebanon’s Interior Minister Marwan Charbel confirmed during an interview with the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn had informed the cabinet that al-Qaida members had infiltrated the Bekaa town of Arsal, however Ghosn only spoke of information he obtained and not of reports that al-Qaida members had been arrested, especially since the border region are controlled by the Lebanese army.

“I don’t know if this information is a result of the coordination between the Lebanese and Syrian armies,” he added.

According to observers Ghosn who is strongly allied with Hezbollah and the Free patriotic Movement is colluding with the Syrians in blaming the twin suicide bombing on the al Qaeda. Syria also blamed the opposition of being the bombings.

During an interview with Al-Rai Kuwaiti newspaper , Free Syrian Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Ahmad Hijazi accused the Syrian regime on Saturday of staging the twin bombings that rocked Damascus on Friday. “They were the work of the Syrian regime in order to blame the opposition of involvement in terrorism, score points in front of international public opinion and portray itself as the victim before the eyes of the Arab observers.”

Commenting on whether the unrest in Syria may spill over to Lebanon, Charbel said: “As long as the March 8 and 14 camps remain committed to unity and their country’s safety, then the instability in Syria will not spread to Lebanon.”

“We should not be affected by the Syrian developments, whether its regime changes or not,” he stressed.

Meanwhile the mayor of Arsal Mohammed al-Hujairi criticized the allegations that al-Qaida members had infiltrated the Bekaa town of Arsal and called on the government to deploy the Lebanese army and security forces in the town in order to confirm that no extremists had entered the country according to a report by the Kuwaiti al-Anbaa newspaper on Sunday.