LEBANON – Newspaper: At least 18 Lebanese influential figures threatened by assassination

Citing “Al-Joumhouria” daily, the “An-Nahar” newspaper writes that at least 18 Lebanese influential figures are threatened by assassination, almost all of them exclusively belonging to the March 14 political opposition bloc.

A western diplomatic sources speaking on conditions of anonymity told the daily that among those monitored by potential killers are Christian Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, Christian MP Boutros Harb, Christian former Minster of Defense Elias al-Murr, Future party (Hariri) Sunnite former Prime Minister and now MP Fouad Siniora, Sunnite director of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) Ashraf Rifi and Christian March 14 Secretary General Fares Souaid as well as a range of Future (Hariri) MP’s.

The report says that promising March 14 presidential candidates are on the assassination list as well. (Beirut-Reporter.net/Al-Joumhouria/An-Nahar)

Background: The current appearance of such a list rings alarm bells among Lebanese, who are closely following events in Lebanon since the so-called “Cedar Revolution” in 2005.

Around October 2005 another list was circulating, which contained mainly March 14 anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians set for assassination. The UN investigation into the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was in full swing and the first official report to be issued.

Beirut-Reporter at that time was shown the list by Internal Security Forces (ISF) sources. It did surface around October 2005, and we can confirm it’s existence and relevance.

Lebanese journalist and publisher of “An-Nahar” Gebran Tueni was one of the top targets on the list. He was killed on the 12th of December 2005 by a car bomb on the way down from his home in Beit Meri to his office in Beirut.

Thus, taken the recent events in Lebanon put into context with similar events in 2005, the existence of a new list makes sense, is highly likely and does not seem to be a pure scare story being put in circulation by relevant players.

Two assassination attempts on March 14 figures failed in 2012.

In April, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea according to his own words and investigations was shot at by a sniper. The bullet hit a wall next to Geagea’s head in his fortresslike home in Maarab when he bent down to pick a flower.

March 14 MP Boutros Harb escaped an attempt on his life in July when an elevator in the building housing his office seemingly was booby-trapped for his killing.

Internal Security Forces (ISF) head of intelligence Wissam al-Hassan was killed by car bomb last Friday in the Beirut neighbourhood of Ashrafieh. He was considered close to the March 14 movement.