Today, Thursday, Lebanese information spoke of the thwarting of a security operation targeting the Palace of Justice in Beirut, which was scheduled to be carried out during a session of the Judicial Council last Friday, which was dedicated to trying members accused of belonging to “terrorist organizations” and of being responsible for the two suicide bombings that occurred. In the southern suburb of Beirut in 2014, they resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries.
A prominent judicial source revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Suhail Abboud, received an emergency call last Friday morning from the Director of Intelligence in the Lebanese Army, Brigadier General Tony Kahwaji, where the latter wished him “to postpone the trial session of the terrorists in the Haret Hreik bombings, due to… There is a real security threat to the security force responsible for transporting detainees from prison to the Palace of Justice.”
The source confirmed that Qahwaji informed Abboud of “the availability of reliable information at the Intelligence Directorate, stating that an armed terrorist group is preparing to carry out an attack targeting the prisoner market car on its way from Roumieh prison to the Palace of Justice, with the aim of freeing the detainee Naim Ismail Mahmoud (Palestinian), known as (Naim Abbas). ) which is being tried in the case, which is the car bombings and bombings that affected Lebanon and were carried out by ISIS.
The danger did not stop at targeting the prisoners’ market power; The source indicated, “If the terrorist group is unable to intercept the prisoner transport vehicles and liberate the detainees, it will forcefully storm the Palace of Justice, raid the courtroom, and liberate Naeem Abbas by force of arms, with the resulting danger threatening the lives of the judges, lawyers, and everyone present in the prison.” “The courtroom.”
Naeem Abbas is considered one of the leaders of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, and is directly responsible for several bombings in Lebanon, including the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut. He is being tried before the Military Court for several terrorist crimes. This person confessed before the court that he is “the engineer of car bomb operations in… Syria and transferred to Lebanon. The military court issued rulings against him that imposed life imprisonment with hard labor.
This issue was brought back to the forefront when masked gunmen attacked the criminal court inside the Palace of Justice in Sidon on June 18, 1999, and showered it with bullets, leading to the killing of 4 judges on the court’s arch during a trial session.
The judicial source stressed that “the security warning raised concern among the president and members of the Judicial Council and the judicial authorities, and raised questions about the security situation of the Palace of Justice in Beirut and the judicial headquarters in all regions,” noting that “the security measures, whether at the entrances to the Palace of Justice or inside it, are not It rises to the level of dealing with the danger that threatens the judiciary, judges, and even lawyers and litigants.”
He pointed out that “this early warning indicates that the country has become exposed in security, and calls for a strong, effective and thoughtful security plan to avoid a disaster that could happen to the failure of justice that could happen at any time, especially since the criminal courts and even the investigation departments have terrorism files, and are conducting investigations and trials without security support.” “God forbid, these courts and their judges avoid any possible process.”
The source noted that “the security measures at the entrances to the Palace of Justice did not prevent civilian demonstrators from entering it by force several times, so what about confronting armed and trained groups?”
The echoes of this security warning have not yet reached the ears of all officials, and Asharq Al-Awsat has learned that the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Suhail Abboud, “will discuss this issue with Prime Minister Najib Mikati and the Minister of Interior, Judge Bassam Al-Mawlawi, and with the leaders of the security services, and demand that they develop a solid plan.” To protect the palaces of justice, and enable judges to review their files without sensing danger.”
Security measures declined in all official headquarters, including prisons, with the intensification of the economic and financial crisis and the decline in the number of members of the security forces due to the retirement of thousands, and hundreds of people left their jobs as a result of the collapse of the value of the national currency and the loss of the purchasing value of the salary.
A security source explained to Asharq Al-Awsat that “the measures taken at the entrances to and inside the Palace of Justice in Beirut are acceptable,” but pointed out that “these measures are limited to searching arrivals and preventing the entry of contraband and weapons, but they are not at the level of confronting a major security operation or an armed attack.” .
He said: “Preparing for any targeting or intrusion requires various procedures similar to those in military barracks, and dealing with them requires a political and security decision at the highest levels.”
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