Assad ally Michel Samaha questioned over alleged plans to cause instability in Lebanon

The Daily Star reports: Hezbollah will not remain silent over the arrest of former Information Minister Michel Samaha on terrorist suspicions, Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad said Thursday, accusing members of the judiciary of collaborating with “suspicious” security forces against the pro-Syrian ex-official.

“We have long experienced these security fabrications and some judges are connected to suspicious security services,” said Raad, in the party’s first response to the arrest of Samaha.

A pro-Syrian regime official, Samaha was arrested by the Internal Security Forces Information Branch Thursday on suspicion of being involved in a plot to carry out terrorist attacks in Lebanon in collaboration with the Syrian regime.

Samaha – a longtime ally of the Syrian regime, two-time minister and former MP – was taken from his summer residence in Metn’s Khanshara-Juwar Thursday morning to ISF headquarters in Beirut for questioning.

Another police unit stormed his residence in Beirut’s Ashrafieh.

The operations were carried out upon the orders of acting-State Prosecutor Samir Hammoud.

Hammoud told The Daily Star Samaha’s case was part of a wider probe into security threats facing the country.

“There is an ongoing security investigation that has not finished yet and I am personally overseeing it,” said Hammoud, who met with Samaha later Thursday.Samaha’s personal staff, including his driver Fares Barakat, his secretary Gladys Awada and his personal bodyguard Ali Mallah, were also detained and taken in for questioning.

Security sources said Samaha admitted that he was involved in a plot to carry out bomb attacks in Lebanon and that he had personally transferred a number of explosives from Syria into Lebanon.

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