Lebanon arrested Michel Samaha, an ex-information minister who is considered close to the Syrian regime. (AFP)
AFP, 09 August 2012 - Lebanese security forces on Thursday arrested Michel Samaha, a former information minister who is considered close to Syria’s embattled regime, after authorities uncovered plans to carry out several bomb attacks across Lebanon, a local newspaper reported.
“The security forces have arrested the (former) minister at his residence” at Khenshara in Mount Lebanon, said the source who declined to elaborate on the reasons for his detention.
Samaha was information minister in the government of Rafiq Hariri, who was killed in a massive car bombing on the Beirut seafront on February 14, 2005.
A security official told AFP that the intelligence services arrested Samaha on orders of the attorney general.
Samaha was detained for interrogation over an undisclosed but “sensitive” security-related issue, Acting Prosecutor General Samir Hammoud told Lebanon-based The Daily Star. His secretary, driver and two bodyguards were also detained.
A senior security source said investigation by policemen from the Internal Security Forces Information Branch has led to Samaha’s arrest.
The source, speaking to The Daily Star on condition of anonymity, said 20 “highly effective” bombs ready to explode by remote were found in several areas of Lebanon.
He said explosives experts defused the bombs before they were taken to Beirut, The Daily Star reported.
'We are now at the interrogation stage, the outcome of which will determine whether he will be arrested or let go,' said Hammoud.