Lebanon Police Arrest Pro-Syria Former Minister, NNA Says

Lebanon’s security forces arrested former Cabinet Minister Michel Samaha, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, following raids on his houses today, the official National News Agency said.

Samaha’s arrest was connected to “preparations for bombing attempts in several Lebanese areas,” NNA said, adding that a “large number of bombs” were found, without providing details.

Prime Minister Najib Miqati said the arrest was linked to “security issues,” according to NNA. Samaha’s driver, two bodyguards and secretary were also detained, the agency said. Authorities confiscated files, computers and videos during a search of his home in Khinshara in Lebanon’s Metn area, it said.

Gladys Samaha said police stormed into the couple’s bedroom to arrest her husband, a supporter of the Hezbollah-backed March 8 coalition, without identifying themselves, NNA said.

“My husband represents a political group in the country and we’re waiting for this group” to react to Samaha’s arrest, she said. She also denied that bombs were found at the house, saying police only found an old Kalashnikov.