Lebanon arrests 2 Malaysians believed tied to Al Qaeda


A Lebanese man stands on a dirt barrier which separates Lebanon from Syria in the Bekaa Valley region of al-Qaa in eastern Lebanon on October 21, 2011. Syrian shells fell in the border region as violence continues to erupt in and around the restive city of Homs.


Joseph Eid

Malaysia today said two of its citizens were arrested in Lebanon over suspected ties to Al Qaeda, reported Reuters

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Malaysian foreign minister Anifah Aman told Reuters they are "closely monitoring the case" involving the two young men, ages 21 and 28. The two were arrested at the Beirut International Airport and are to appear in court on Monday. 

Local press said the two were headed for Syria to join the rebel-led uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to Reuters.

Their arrest highlights concerns that radical Islamist groups are actively engaged in the rebel movement in Syria, where rebels' months-long struggle against Assad sparked a conflict believed to have taken some 30,000 lives. 

An official speaking on the condition of anonymity told DPA then men are being charged with plotting attacks on Lebanon. The official also claimed the two were taken into custody in Yemen several years ago for terrorist links and sent back to Malaysia.