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Archive for Lebanon

Newsline: Syrian to be tried for plotting attack on U.S. embassy in Lebanon

A Syrian man held on suspicion of plotting an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon was referred to trial on Thursday along with 20 other people, the Lebanese state news agency NNA said. NNA said a Lebanese military judge had issued an indictment against the man on charges of belonging to the Islamic State militant group and planning the operation on its behalf. It said the man was suspected of having prepared explosives and of seeking to buy a drone for the attack. The agency gave no further details and did not spell out the allegations against the 20 others. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-security-usa/syrian-to-be-tried-for-plotting-attack-on-u-s-embassy-in-lebanon-agency-idUSKBN2071RK) A Lebanese security source said the man was arrested last month in Lebanon and is expected to face a military trial along with the other 20 suspects, who were accused of helping to plot the operation.

Newsline: U.S. embassy in Lebanon denies funding “revolution bus”

The U.S. embassy in Lebanon denied rumors about the embassy standing behind the financing of a “revolution bus” in Lebanon amid nationwide protests against the ruling political class. The embassy tweeted that it has nothing to do with the revolution bus while “the embassy supports the Lebanese people in their peaceful demonstrations and expressions of national unity.” (http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-11/17/c_138560852.htm) The revolution bus aimed at traveling from north to south of Lebanon on Sunday through the main sites of the month-long demonstrations in Lebanon to convey a message of peace and that protesters from all regions are united against the political ruling class. A group of people had accused the bus of being funded by foreign powers and hence prevented it from entering the city of Sidon, south of Lebanon, creating tension in the area.

Newsline: Lebanon taxi driver sentenced to death over murder of UK embassy worker

A man convicted of the rape and murder of a British embassy worker in Lebanon has been sentenced to death, the country’s state-owned National News Agency reported. In December 2017, a taxi driver picked Rebecca Dykes up from a Beirut bar and drove her to a mountainside motorway where he sexually assaulted and strangled her with a rope. (https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/01/middleeast/rebecca-dykes-uk-embassy-lebanon-murder-intl-gbr/index.html) Dykes was an employee at the UK Department of International Development at the British embassy in Beirut. She was last seen leaving a bar named “Demo” off of the Gemmayze Street, a popular nightlife spot in the Lebanese capital, the source said. Her body was found in a ditch along a mountain highway near the outskirts of the city.

Newsline: German embassy worker allegedly sold visas to Lebanese clan

German authorities are looking for a former embassy worker who allegedly sold visa documents to members of a Lebanese clan. The clan then used the documents to smuggle Syrian refugees into Germany, according to a report. A Lebanese man who used to work at the German embassy in Beirut is wanted by authorities over alleged “irregularities” involving visa documents, according to a report by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “We are working closely with the relevant criminal investigative authorities in this case,” the German Foreign Office told the paper, adding that the suspect no longer works at the embassy. (https://www.dw.com/en/german-embassy-worker-allegedly-sold-visas-to-lebanese-clan-report/a-51011980) The man reportedly worked in the embassy’s visa department until 2017 and is believed to have taken so-called “visa stickers” — papers that are inserted into passports and are necessary to travel to Germany.

Newsline: Lebanese Embassy Comes Under Attack in Tripoli

The Lebanese embassy in Tripoli has been attacked by an outraged people in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, El-Nashra news website reported, Lebanese Ambassador to Libya Mohammad Sukaina said. According to the envoy, the attackers didn’t manage to get into the building but tore off the country’s flag and a tablet from the embassy’s wall. The envoy further noted that no employees had been injured as the embassy was closed. Later in the day, the Libyan High Council of State called on for the suspension of diplomatic relations with Lebanon over the desecration of a Libyan flag in Beirut.


Newsline: Saudi ambassador to Beirut pulled after less than 3 months

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Yaacoub is being replaced after being on the job for less than three months, a political source told The Daily Star Sunday. “Former Saudi Charge d’Affaires in Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari will arrive to Beirut tonight and head the Saudi diplomatic team in Lebanon,” the source said. The source said that Yaacoub would no longer be the ambassador to Lebanon, and that he had already left for Riyadh. Yaacoub was appointed to Beirut last September during Thamer al-Sabhan’s tenure as Saudi Minister of State for Gulf Affairs. The firebrand critic of Hezbollah has since been removed from the kingdom’s Lebanon file. Yaacoub’s credentials were later presented to President Michel Aoun in January. He worked in the Saudi Embassy in Beirut from 2010 to 2014 and then moved to his country’s embassy in Paris, where he worked until 2017. He worked with Sabhan on issues concerning Lebanon, while representing the kingdom in many international conferences at the United Nations.


Newsline: Lebanon judge seeks death penalty for UK diplomat’s alleged killer

An investigative judge in Lebanon has demanded the death penalty for a man who allegedly raped and murdered a British diplomat in Beirut. The judge referred the case to a public trial. The indictment, a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian, identified Tarek Houshieh, an Uber driver, as the only suspect in the killing of Rebecca Dykes, who worked with the British embassy in Beirut. It claimed that Houshieh had confessed to the crimes and referred his case to the criminal court, charging him with premeditated murder. Dykes’s body was found in December on the Metn highway leading out of Beirut. She had disappeared after spending an evening with friends at a bar in Gemmayzeh, a nightlife district in the Lebanese capital. Houshieh, a Lebanese national, had allegedly picked up Dykes from Gemmayzeh after she requested an Uber ride. The indictment alleged that instead of driving her home, he raped and then choked her to death before driving to the highway to get rid of her body, and later disposed of her purse and identity papers.