Fears of ISIS/ISIL grow in Lebanon, report

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ISIS fighters 2Beirut, Lebanon—The recent advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or ISIL are causing mixed reactions in Lebanon, amid growing fears that the spillover from the conflict in neighboring Syria could be worsened by the crisis in Iraq.

On Monday, military prosecutors in Beirut charged 28 people with plotting to carry out bomb attacks in the country, according to press reports. ISIS has also claimed responsibility for one of a string of suicide bombings that rocked the country last month.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, a number of Lebanese citizens have expressed fears regarding ISIS, but also said the presence of Hezbollah, and Lebanon’s religious diversity, would hinder its efforts to establish a presence in their country.

Maha Yunis, a 50-year-old Christian and a mother of three, said the recent successes of ISIS in Syria and Iraq were a “nightmare,” and told Asharq Al-Awsat she no longer eats as normal and often cries after reading the news.

“I have been completely depressed for more than one month, and I fear for my future and the future of my children,” she said.

“I oppose Hezbollah and do not like its presence as an armed organization, but after seeing the practices of ISIS I would now prefer Hezbollah getting stronger to fight the Takfirists of ISIS. Hezbollah is one thousand times better than ISIS,” she added.

Naya Ghusn, a 28-year-old Christian, also told Asharq Al-Awsat she feared the spreading of ISIS to Lebanon, but had initially been skeptical. “The issue did not matter to me much and I was convinced that some were trying to blow the organization out of proportion to say that the alternative to the existing Arab regimes is extremist regimes and Takfirist elements.”

“But today, with the establishment of the [ISIS] caliphate state just tens of kilometers away from us, I am now afraid these elements will reach us, particularly as the international community which we were relying on is not concerned with what is happening and may remain so, even if we were killed and displaced from our land,” she added. “The growth of terrorism in the region now gives a justification for Hezbollah fighting in Syria and even for carrying weapons in Lebanon.”

In contrast, Charbel Mourad, another Lebanese citizen, said he did not feel any alarm at ISIS’s successes, because “the extremist organization would not be able to enter Lebanon because of the diversity of the Lebanese society which does not provide a breeding ground for ISIS.”

“It is also because all the Lebanese can now defend themselves after mastering the arts of fighting in street wars over many years during the civil war [which lasted from 1975 to 1990]. Additionally, there are armed parties that can settle these battles before they happen,” he added, in reference to Hezbollah.

Maher, a Sunni from a village in southern Lebanon who declined to give him family name, agreed. “The Lebanese environment cannot accommodate a case such as ISIS because of [its] social diversity,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Another strand of opinion holds that the threat from ISIS has been overhyped. Sawsan Nuruallah, a Sunni supporter of the March 14 alliance, said: “I am not convinced that ISIS exists in Lebanon to the extent that Hezbollah and its media outlets try to portray. To me, they are nothing more than an intelligence game created to scare people off the Syrian revolution and give a pretext for the Syrian regime to prove it is fighting terrorism and that the only alternative to it is extremism.”

“The Syrian regime which was and still is jailing Syrian intellectuals issued a pardon for most of the extremists in jails to turn [them] into fighters in the [Al-Qaeda-affiliated] Al-Nusra Front and ISIS,” she added.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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20 responses to “Fears of ISIS/ISIL grow in Lebanon, report”

  1. master09 Avatar
    master09

    The growth of terrorism in the region now gives a justification for Hezbollah fighting in Syria and even for carrying weapons in Lebanon.”
    This now means we have shit hanging around even longer. Crap……

    1. nagy_michael2 Avatar
      nagy_michael2

      It was hezbollah whom indirectly defended Fatah Al Islam against the LAF during camp al bared war.. It was the syrian who supplied them with weapons and logistics and training and facilitated their entries to Lebanon, Iraq and others areas. Of course some Saudis citizen have supported them because of ideology. But everything were told that Hariri brought in fatah al islam. The future movement were the first to support the LAF against these criminals then. It was Nassrallah who wanted to make sure the camps are red line and Lebanon should not enter the camps as if Fatah al islam were innocent and lebanon must not interfere. But its okay for his majesty to send gangs into syria to protect aisha wa fatimah.. the double standards we get all the times from Hezbollah and on top of it they kill us one by one and deny it and if you accuse them you get killed too. so jihadists and Hezbollah, iranians and syrians regime thugs are all the same mold. You will die either first or at sometimes depending on which above terrorists group you encounter. There is nothing called resistance and its all built on fake organization to achieve the higher goal. Its all about controlling the area and turning into shiite zones per Iran Supreme leader. The same with Caliph. Israel had the same mentality by conquer and divide in Lebanon. the same with syrias and libya then and many others. yet lebanese have not learned yet and they keep adding on more misery to us. Hezbollah would been worshiped had they follow the patriotic path. Instead they got arrogant and devious and bunch of hired assasins. And anyone who believes in them and follow them is a killer and mentally disturbed.

      1. Watan Avatar

        Nagy, well said. . spoken with true grit and a passion for the Lebanese identity. It is a pity that the “shaab” cannot see the things in front of their eyes, they are too blinded by the Men they follow. For these men, these war lords, hand out flags and banners, while the people think other will see them, it is really just to “cover their eyes”
        Wake up Lebanon, get behind (and beside) your Army.
        5 Fingers on their own (Maronite, Druze, Sunni, Shiite and Orthodox) can be broken 1 by one, but pull them together and you have a fist (LAF) that will smash the face of someone trying to pick on you.
        For the sake of Lebanon, the Dream that is Lebanon, the country we all know it can be if given a chance, stand united. Stand as Lebanese.
        Have all your “parties” put down their guns, and if you really want to carry one and “7arib” go join the Army!

      2. Michaelinlondon1234 Avatar
        Michaelinlondon1234

        All I ever hear from you is complaints. Not once something constructive. At least you will be happy continuing drinking sewage in your water supply while you whine.
        If I am wrong ..tell me something constructive you have done in the last 2 years?

        1. Igor Chingoski Avatar
          Igor Chingoski

          Michaellinlong: I think You are an Idiot, with limited understanding,

          As for You Nagy well said!

          1. Michaelinlondon1234 Avatar
            Michaelinlondon1234

            Was I talking to you?. It is well known a lot of the sewage infrastructure has not been upgraded for years in Lebanon and leaks like a sieve. Recent studies in the country show both pesticide and sewage contamination in streams and rivers. Where does Lebanon draw its water from streams rivers and Aquifers fed by streams and rivers,.
            So when you sit down over a coffee to argue politics think about what you are drinking.

        2. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Geagea has an expandable ‘sewage-treatment’ facility going.
          One town got itself OFF ‘the failed electric grid’ by being ‘together’.
          There was a larger ‘Peace March’ in Tripoli.
          There ARE people who want a better life there.
          They know they won’t have it with guns.

          1. Michaelinlondon1234 Avatar
            Michaelinlondon1234

            How many towns are there in Lebanon? verses One upgraded Sewage treatment facility for a political leader. Beirut and Germany have just built another which is great So why have not the rest of the political Leaders done similar?. It is a good job creation scheme
            Love to know more details on the town off grid.
            Peace march ….Did you go on it?
            Better life..I would to in the UK…all my taxes have been spent by the foreign office starting wars and trying to control other peoples governments including Lebanon over the last 20 years.
            Guns are just a tool. It was not guns that destroyed Lebanon forests. That is 9000 years of cutting them down while not actively replanting. They nurture your Aquifers. No Aquifers no Lebanon. It does not mater how many guns you have.

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            True enough. And the winter snow has decreased too.
            We can agree that ‘Thinking Locally’ is good, AND that ‘Acting Globally’ hasn’t made much of an impression with many yet – although even ONE improvement upstream is a beginning. As long as someone doesn’t bomb it.
            The town that got tired of Aoun’s ‘power-outs’ decided to buy it’s own modern generators and stop paying for what didn’t exist. Economic sensibility for the town and it’s businesses.
            We still wait for the ‘Sun-Collecting’ on the bare mountain-tops, since some prefer to fight over the oil and gas they are not even pumping yet.
            But if ONE shows the way, and the others see it is good, maybe ……
            Mostly they planted NUTS !
            :-)))))

          3. Michaelinlondon1234 Avatar
            Michaelinlondon1234

            Trees that grow nuts are good.
            Trees on Bare mountain tops if you copice or selectively log give furniture makers timber.

          4. 5thDrawer Avatar
            5thDrawer

            See ‘Tree Line’ in a wiki somewhere….

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    The ones I know mostly fear starving to death ….

  3. Leborigine Avatar
    Leborigine

    Does this news bother me?? Not really!
    Its open season in Lebanon, so what difference will another gang do that the existing one doesn’t!
    Law and order have been disregarded, state has been disrespected, thugs doing what they want, so what is the issue? Hope HA will finally realize that their “state within a state” ideology does not and will not work. They should have merged with the army then, as this will be the only solution for Lebanon.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      MERGE Leborigine??
      Hard to merge an ‘Our Way Only’ mentality with an Army which is trying to represent ‘ALL’ for a country and must BE equal in it’s treatment of citizens BY the laws and mandates OF it’s government. Hezzy will never be doing that ‘joining’ you think could happen.
      WHERE has ‘Government’ been since that last election where Hezzy got 2 seats out of 30 in a non-functioning-ever-since Cabinet??
      The LAF – doing what IS right and taking ‘orders’ from it’s government – had to get ‘approval’ from all those Cabinet Idiots to finally get into Tripoli to push the gangs OUT !!
      And people are still not sure of their success yet. But it’s not a fault of the LAF.

      1. Leborigine Avatar
        Leborigine

        I hear you 5th. this is just a scenario. HA could have done a hundred things to make Lebanon a better place, but they chose not to, they prefer to take us backwards like their cousins in syria!

  4. Michaelinlondon1234 Avatar
    Michaelinlondon1234

    Lebanese malitias and Army would put turn the ISIS in to ground meat

    1. sweetvirgo Avatar
      sweetvirgo

      Let’s hope so other wise Lebanon will be in big trouble.

      1. Michaelinlondon1234 Avatar
        Michaelinlondon1234

        This is assuming the Army does not crack down to hard on the malitias.

  5. Reasonableman Avatar
    Reasonableman

    A report on how the ISIS supporters have blocked roads in tripoli due to what they call unfair charges laid against them after handing themselves in.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Figures … 🙁 … Idiots.
      That whole too-weird ‘concept’ of moving into someone else’s country and then changing the laws OF that country to what were failures elsewhere MUST be knocked out of their brains – but without the use of the guns they love to feel in their hands.
      Blocking roads when the ARMY takes the guns away will only make the citizens more aware of how stupid they are, and how against Society too.
      Although, I have often said that ALL THE WOMEN should be out there sitting together in the middle of Beirut and blocking ALL the Blockheads from moving around in their Black Marias.
      :-))))

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