US Intelligence Director John Negroponte says Qaeda’s expansion in Lebanon, exploiting conflict there, is being taken seriously

This move cannot be ruled out, he said to Reuters and International Herald Tribune, despite the chasm between the Sunni Muslim al Qaeda and Lebanon’s Shiite Hizballah.
debkafile‘s counter-terror sources have uncovered the presence of active al Qaeda cells in Lebanon, located mainly in Palestinian refugee camps in Tripoli in the north and Sidon in the south. More recently, Hizballah’s military operations commander Imad Mughniyeh brokered a new operational pact between his organization and al Qaeda with Tehran’s blessing. Sectarian differences between the Shiite Hizballah and predominantly Sunni Muslim Palestinians have never barred their cooperation in Gaza and the West Bank. Since 1993, Mughniyeh, who is close to Iranian ruler Ali Khamenei, has liaised between Iran and the al Qaeda leadership.

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