Over 40 undercover ISIS cells now exist in Lebanon, according to the Daily Star in Lebanon. A Lebanese security organization asserts that each of the cells includes three or four members who come from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, or the Palestinian Arab areas.
The members have apparently been trained in the Syrian areas of Aleppo and Deir al-Zor as well as Lebanon’s West Bekaa, Iqlim al-Kharroub, Akkar, and Naameh by soldiers who left the Syrian Army or came from Lebanon or the Palestinian Arab areas.
Some other causes for concern are that the members obtained encrypted digital communication devices, pistols with silencers, and fake university identification. They have been told to wear normal everyday clothes and go to nightclubs and cafes.
One rumor is that the cells might assassinate a Sunni leadership figure, precipitating calls that a rival party planned the execution. Recent fights between ISIS and the Nusra Front on one side and the Army on the other triggered the kidnapping of over 30 security personnel. Thus a suicide attack or car bomb would catalyze a plunge in security. 22 soldiers and policemen are still in captivity; two soldiers have already been beheaded by ISIS.
On Thursday, the army Thursday exploded a car with 100 kilograms of explosives near Arsal.
It isn’t just ISIS that is of grave concern; the security group said it had information that the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades was trying to use two suicide bombers on motorcycles to attack the Beirut embassy of an eastern European country.
Lebanese government institutions were working on signing security collaboration protocols with Western and Arab countries. Those agreements would allow all sides to share information acquired relating to ISIS.
A regional conference to address the ISIS crisis was held in Jeddah; Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil arrived there on Thursday.