On October 18, the Lebanese State Security announced in an official statement that it has arrested four members of an ISIS cell in Hasbaya area in southern Lebanon. The Lebanese authorities said that the four ISIS members are Syrian citizens.
According to the official statement, the head of the cell, Khalid M, confessed that he found “pro-ISIS groups on social media networks and published instructions and photos on how to make explosives belts, and mines”.
Khaled also confessed that he announced in a record that he is willing to conduct a suicide attack, according to the statement. Moreover, the Lebanese authorities revealed that Khalid took photos of a UNIFIL helicopter that was taking off and landing in Marjayoun area in southern Lebanon.
The statement added that the four ISIS members confessed that they planned to conduct terrorist attacks again a unspecified Lebanese party (likely Hezbollah), Casino du Liban and night clubs.
Furthermore, the cell was regularly communicating with terrorist inside the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh in southern Lebanon, and with terrorists in Iraq and Syria, according to the Lebanese authorities.
By now, ISIS is still in control of a pocket inside the Ain Hilweh camp. However, the Lebanese and Palestinian authorities didn’t agree on any method to counter ISIS there.
Back in 2011, the Lebanese Army was involved in a standoff with an al-Qaeda-affiliated group in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in norther Lebanon for 110 days after the Lebanese and Palestinian authorities had ignored the group threat for a long time.