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Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said Wednesday that there are individuals in Lebanon who sympathize with Al-Qaeda, but that the group as an organization does not exist in the country does not have any bases and does not receive any funding.

Charbel said that the case of Islamists imprisoned without charge would be resolved soon.

“Al-Qaida doesn’t exist in Lebanon but there are people who support it. It doesn’t have a training base in the country nor does it receive funding ”Charbel told reporters in a news conference in Tripoli following the North Lebanon Security Council’s meeting at the Serail

“We are ready to discuss the recent incidents with all the parties in Tripoli in order to preserve security in the city,” Charbel added

Charbel statements came after an Islamist supporter of the Syrian opposition, Shadi Mawlawi, 25, was arrested and accused of belonging to a “terrorist organization.” Reports surfaced that Mawlawi was linked to Al-Qaeda in Lebanon.

Mawlawi’s controversial arrest Saturday sparked three-day clashes in Tripoli, north Lebanon, between opponents and supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad, leaving at least seven dead and 100 wounded.

What outraged Mawlawi’s supporters was the way he was tricked to be arrested… General Security personnel dressed in civilian clothes lured him to a social services center belonging to Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi with promises of medical care to his sister , only to arrest him.

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