Lebanese security forces raided a warehouse of explosives and suicide belts belonging to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Lebanese city of Tripoli Tuesday afternoon, Al-Hayat, the pan-Arab newspaper, reported.
An official source told Al-Hayat that the warehouse is considered the Lebanese security forces’ biggest target since they started tracking ISIS militants.
Lebanese internal security forces were monitoring phone calls in the warehouse district since arresting Ibrahim Al-Gamal, who was detained before detonating himself in a coffee shop in Jabal Mohsen district in conjunction with twin bombs which went off in Burj Al-Barajneh district killing more than 40 persons last Thursday.
The attack was claimed by ISIS, and occurred on the same day security forces arrested a man in Tripoli with a suicide belt.
Lebanese security forces have arrested nine people, most of them Syrian nationals, over last week’s twin bombings in Beirut that killed 44 people, the interior minister said Sunday, reported AFP.
“Until now the detained include seven Syrians and two Lebanese, one of them a [would-be] suicide bomber and the other a trafficker who smuggled them across the border from Syria,” Interior Minister Nuhad Mashnuq said in a televised press conference.
Thursday’s attacks hit a busy shopping street in Burj Al-Barajneh, a suburb where the Shia movement Hizbullah is popular.
“The whole suicide bombing network and its supporters were arrested in the 48 hours following the explosion,” Mashnuq said.
He said the Syrians were detained in a Palestinian refugee camp located in Burj Al-Barajneh and a apartment in the capital’s eastern district of Ashrafieh that had been used to prepare the explosive belts.
The initial plan was apparently to send five suicide bombers to a hospital in the neighbourhood, Mashnuq said, but heavy security forced the attackers to change their target to a densely populated area.