Rifi praises Hassan over Samaha’s arrest

Internal Security Forces Director General Ashraf Rifi praised in a statement the work undertaken by ISF Information Branch head Wissam al-Hassan that led to the arrest of former Information Minister Michel Samaha, National News Agency reported on Monday.

“Hassan is an intelligent and courageous officer… his efforts led to the arrest of the mastermind of a terrorist plan and the uncovering of proof of his involvement in plotting terrorist attacks ,” Rifi said.

“ Hassan’s efforts prevented a descent into sectarian strife,” he declared

The ISF chief also praised the work of the “secret informer” who “played a key role in uncovering a dangerous plan aimed at launching terror attacks.”

“He is a good citizen who fulfilled his national duties by collaborating with the Information Branch.” He is reportedly referring to Milad Kfoury who is presently outside Lebanon because of concerns for his safety.

On Thursday, Lebanese security forces arrested Samaha in a case linked to a bombing plan aimed to create a strife in Lebanon

On Saturday, Judge Sami Sader charged Samaha and two Syrian army officers with setting up an armed group to incite sectarian strife through “terror attacks.”

Following his arrest, several reports revealed that Samaha confessed under interrogation that he had transferred “explosives from Syria to Lebanon in order to carry out bombings in North Lebanon, particularly in the area of Akkar, with Syria’s knowledge.”

“This is what Bashar wants,” Lebanese security sources quoted Samaha as saying of Syrian President Bashar Assad, in a video shot by a Lebanese undercover agent for the Internal Security Forces Information Branch.

He was referring to the bombing plan that was meant to be carried out in north Lebanon.

The security sources also said that, in the video, Samaha can be seen and heard as saying that Syrian Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk had handed him the bombs in addition to $170,000 cash that was meant to be distributed to would-be executors of the bombing plan in Lebanon.

Samaha is known for being a staunch ally of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah even years before he was appointed a minister in the cabinet. He was among several pro-Syrian Lebanese officials who were sanctioned in 2007 by the United States for “contributing to political and economic instability in Lebanon.”