On Tuesday, June 6, three individuals suspected of planning a suicide attack were arrested in Beirut's southern suburbs. One of the suspects arrested was a Lebanese man who told police that he received training in northern Lebanon from Islamic State (IS) militants and that an IS operative in Iraq remotely instructed him over the internet on how to make an explosive belt. One of the other suspects is reportedly a Yemeni national who had previously established an IS-linked terrorist cell. An explosive belt was found with the suspects, which authorities believe one of the suspects intended to use in a suicide attack in the southern suburbs of Beirut.
IS holds a small amount of territory in Syria along the border with Lebanon and was responsible for suicide bombings in a predominately Shi'a neighborhood in southern Beirut in November 2015. They are also accused of being responsible for eight suicide bombings in a Lebanese Christian village in June 2016 that killed five people and injured over 12 others.
Lebanon's security context is closely tied to the situation in neighboring Syria, notably due to the involvement of the Lebanon-based Shi'a group Hezbollah in the civil war. Terrorist attacks have occurred periodically in Lebanon in recent months, usually targeting security forces or isolated villages in the north, such as Arsal, Ras Baalbek, and Qaa.
Due to the threat of terrorism, some Western governments advise their nationals against travel to the city of Tripoli, as well as Beirut's southern districts, southern Lebanon, and the country's eastern regions (including Baalbek, Hermel, Majdel, and Rachaiya).
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