February 21, 2018 / 11:53 AM / a year ago

Lebanon arrests former IS financial official, operative: source

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese intelligence arrested a man on Wednesday they believe was a financial official for Islamic State in Syria, a security source said.

The Syrian, arrested in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, was responsible for collecting money for the militant group in Albu Kamal, a city in eastern Syria, before Islamic State was expelled from the area, the source said.

In November, the Syrian army and its allies recaptured Albu Kamal, Islamic State’s last significant town in Syria. Most IS members withdrew from the town during the battle.

The arrested man, whom the source identified only as Saud, entered Lebanon through a legal border crossing using his brother’s identity. It was not clear when he entered the country and whether he was planning any militant activities, the source said.

In a separate incident, Lebanon’s General Security announced on Wednesday the arrest of another Syrian Islamic State operative who had planned a suicide attack on an army bus.

Lebanese authorities say they have disrupted a number of IS plots in recent months. The last very big jihadist attack in Lebanon was a suicide bombing in Beirut in November 2015 which killed dozens.

Reporting by Younis Aoude, writing by Dahlia Nehme; Editing by Robin Pomeroy, William Maclean

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