Nusra-Linked Syrian Held in Beirut as Suspect Arrested for Plotting Attack on Army

The State Security agency arrested Thursday a Syrian man in Beirut on charges of “entering Lebanon illegally” and “having ties and contacts with al-Nusra Front,” al-Qaida’s Syria branch, media reports said.

Later on Thursday, the General Security agency announced that another Syrian has been arrested for “belonging to a terrorist group.”

“During interrogation, he confessed to belonging to a terrorist group, recruiting and inciting young men to join the Syrian conflict alongside the aforementioned group, and plotting, along with others, for an attack on a Lebanese army checkpoint with the aim of killing soldiers,” the General Security said in a statement.

“He was referred to the relevant judicial authorities at the end of the investigation and efforts are underway to arrest the rest of the culprits,” it added.

The announcements come in the wake of a blast the targeted the headquarters of BLOM Bank in Verdun on Sunday and injured one person.

They also come amid security concerns in Lebanon about possible attacks by the extremist Islamic State and al-Nusra Front groups during the holy month of Ramadan.

A recently-leaked army intelligence memo has revealed that security agencies were asked to up their security measures after information was obtained about a Nusra Front plot to launch terrorist attacks in Beirut’s Hamra area.

According to the document, army patrols and “political and security figures moving without security convoys” are likely targets.