The Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL) jihadist group is reportedly planning to declare an Islamic emirate in Lebanon, security sources told a Lebanese news outlet.
“ISIS is preparing military plans to declare an Islamic emirate in Lebanon very soon to serve as a geographical extension of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ announced by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Iraq last year,” security sources told The Daily Star in Lebanon.
“ISIS fighters have demanded support from the militant group in northern Syria to achieve this goal, the sources said,” the sources added.
ISIS is expected to establish a military organizational committee charged with running affairs in Lebanon and considering Lebanon part of its Islamic state.
However, the sources told the Lebanese media outlet that “ISIS is facing difficulties in choosing a Lebanese commander for this mission. The reported appointment of the fugitive preacher Ahmad al-Assir for this post was merely a trial balloon.”
The sources added “that arrangements to form an ISIS command for the Lebanon emirate were taking place under the supervision of the group commander Khalaf al-Zeyabi Halous, codenamed ‘Abu Musaab Halous,’ a Syrian who had played a key role in the ISIS offensive to capture the Raqqa province in 2013.”
The Lebanese security sources note that jihadist group’s attempt to expand into Lebanon may be “doomed to failure” since it has not been cleared by “the powers backing ISIS.”
U.S. military aid is expected to reach Lebanon to help the country repel attacks from jihadist groups such as ISIS.
“The United States will provide the Lebanese Army with six Super Cobra fighter aircraft as part of the U.S. military aid to the Army… Also, sources close to the military establishment said that America had agreed to sell some F-5 fighter jets to the Lebanese Army in the next five months,” reports The Daily Star.
ISIS may face resistance from the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon.
The leader of the Shiite Hezbollah group has urged the Middle East to unite and join the fight agains the Sunni ISIS group in Iraq and Syria.
Hezbollah is considered a legitimate political party in Lebanon.
“An influential party in Lebanon has received important information indicating that ISIS is bent on recruiting more suicide bombers equipped with explosives belts to target Shiite gatherings in Beirut and the southern suburbs as well as French and Western interests, while the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, which was targeted with a deadly twin suicide attack in November 2013, is still vulnerable to another assault,” reports The Daily Star without naming the “influential party.”
Christians in Lebanon have reportedly armed themselves to combat ISIS and other jihadists.
ISIS controls large swaths of Iraq and Syria. Lebanon borders Syria. ISIS may also face resistance from marijuana growers in Lebanon.