Thursday, December 21, 2006

Breaking News: SSNP Offices Surrounded, Members Arrested, Weapons and Explosives Confiscated

Update:
Police have released a preliminary statement regarding the security operations surrounding SSNP offices and members:

"A force from the Internal Security Force raided these houses and found inside them a large quantity of explosives, electrical detonators and timers in addition to a large cache of weapons," the statement said.
News services in Lebanon are reporting the arrest of five members of the Syrian Socialist National Party (SSNP) in Lebanon. The arrest took place in the northern province of Koura and included a confiscation of weapons and explosives, according to a news bulletin on news website Naharnet. The website is also reporting that the surrounding by police and other security services of the SSNP office in the Ras Beirut district of the capital. The operation is being described by security services as a "suspect chase".
Background
The SSNP is one of the leading parties currently participating in the pro-Syrian sit-ins and demonstrations aimed at bringing Lebanon's current government down. The party is seen as having extensive ties to Syrian intelligence services, and advocates a union of the two countries (as well as Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Palestine, and parts of Turkey and Egypt) into one pan-arab nation with Damascus as its capital.

Following the assassination of Minister of Industry Pierre Gemayel just over a month ago, SSNP offices were attacked in the late Minister's home town of Bikfaya resulting in the destruction of several cars belonging to SSNP members. The attacks were understood to be in retribution to the killing in light of accusations of Syrian involvement in the assassination and the party's close ties to autocratic Syrian regime.

16 comments:

  1. If this turns out to be SSNP it will be interesting to see how the FPM and Hizb deal with it.

    Secondly, another rumour I just heard: The killers of Pierre Gemayel were apparently members of the SSNP. The authorities know this and have evidence of it but are not releasing it just yet. Perhaps something is cooking...

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  2. Anonymous5:04 PM

    yeah, i'm sure this comes as a real surprise to the FPM and Hizballah.....yeah right

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  3. Qanso, the head of the SSNP, just had a news conference a couple of hours ago.

    He said that these weapons were there since the 80's. He did confirm, at least indirectly, that the guy they found the weapons with was a SSNP leader in the Koura area. When asked why the party still needed weapons he responded by saying it was for resistance operations against Israel. When asked why the need for the weapons all the way in the Koura region when they should be in the south, he said they could be transported...

    I'm just reporting what I heard him say... no comments needed!

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  4. You had me at Qanso...

    ...hehe, good to see the old boys sticking to the same line. This is the Lebanon all those fools who were (and still are) protesting in Downtown can expect. Resistance fighters in Downtown and resistance weapons in Koura.

    Here's an idea, why don't you go to the Golan to resist?

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  5. The sinister coup plot is being uncovered by the day, what will the coming days bring?

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  6. It makes sense to have equipment for rigging car bombs, in case the IDF drives in town in their... cars... and there is no one there to resist them except the valiant resistance fighters of the National Socialist, sorry, Social Nationalist party.

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  7. Eddie (Washington DC, United States)11:57 PM

    Why are we taking by surprise. The SSNP since 1975 has resume of similiar acts.
    The SSNP are two branches (tawareek) Headed by Assad Hardan and ( Majlis A3la ) heade by the Elite like the late In3am Raad & Gibran Jreige.
    Lets not forgot the begining of Moukawameh al Wataniyeh was headed by Mouhamad Selim who is an SSNP (amin) was killed by the SSNP(Tawarek faction)
    Lets wait and see The pro Syrian( SSNP tawarek) has delivered many Lebanese heads to Syria Including President Bachir Gemayel and many more. I wouldn't be surprise if SSNP of Hardan Allam and company involvment in Pierre Gemayel assasination. This faction of SSNP are the pro of terrorist who trained Hizballah in 1982.

    I studied and research this Group very wellal what I have to say If Antoine Saadeh wakes up and see this faction he will Imigrate back to Argentina running away from the damage they did to his Elite party.

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  8. Could this be the introduction to resolving Pierre Gemayel's assassination ? The first indictement in a political assassination in Lebanon ? Only time will tell. I'm sure Brammetz should be keeping an eye.

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  9. Ib, it might indeed be what you just said... perhaps it will be a way out to the impasse we are seeing now. Who knows, perhaps the Syrians have decided to sacrifice the SSNP for something else in return. Remember this happened on the same day that Amr Moussa was in Damascus.

    Anyways, it was hilarious seeing Qanso on TV... I'm not sure how he kept a straight face but he sounded incredibly ridiculous...

    (Blacksmith Jade, you are calling half the Lebanese population fools. But we've been through this before haven't we... ;) )

    Lebanese politics = dogs barking at eachother.

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  10. Abu Jaafar you fixate on numbers while I talk about the rationality of political analysis and the patriotism of intentions.

    If you want you could try to explain the rationality behind the pro-Syrian demonstrations (good luck)- from the point of view of benefitting the nation, but I will leave it to others to tell you why the people currently protesting do not make up half of the population.

    Either way, this is all a bit off-topic. The topic of the day remains the continuous threat posed to Lebanon's security and sovereignty by Syria and her allies in Lebanon. Allies who seem willing to shed the blood of countless Lebanese (whether through a July war or a string of assassinations) in order to further their own personal agendas and those of the Syrian regime. When all the Lebanese recognize this and support the fight to defend Lebanon against Syria (just like all the Lebanese supported the fight the resistance while they fought Israeli occupation up until 2000), then we can start building a prosperous future.

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  11. (Blacksmith Jade, you are calling half the Lebanese population fools. But we've been through this before haven't we... ;) )

    Lebanese politics = dogs barking at eachother.
    ------------------------------

    Jaafar, it seems that the'divine' victory camp in Lebanon has a constant theme. They always manage to come up with mythical numbers and a force de les dirent they start to believe their own lies. Under such conditions, it's futile to discuss figures and facts with them.

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  12. Off topic but how can I not reply:

    The timing of the resignation of the Hizb-Amal ministers from the government is certainly not coindenctal... It is meant to pressure the government to allow Aoun to enter it and give the opposition a vetoing third. If and when this goal is (ever) achieved I do not think that this vetoing third would be able to block the tribunal... Assuming Hizb-Amal are liars, at least Aoun's ministers would not be able to back out from this. Now, the whole 'world community'is all angry at these protests just because they want to put a few of Aoun's guys there? Whats the deal with Aoun anyways, why such an aversion to him if he is so weak, hmmm? (Amine Gemayel; The guy accepts SSNP'ers to give condolences but not Aoun??? Anyways, this is all because of the by-elections due to occur).

    In my opinion, and you know that I am pro-Aoun to at least a certain extent, I am not sure I support these protests anymore... I still support dialogue. But from what I have seen the Mustaqabl wish to monopolize all decision making in the country and the solution is not toppling the government but a national unity government. Everybody was sounding the alarm to toppling Karami's government. They are doing the same bluff this time saying chaos will descend on Lebanon if the government quits... Quite frankly, I'm not too happy at the opposition's response at what the Mustaqabl has done, but it seems the Lebanese have to choose between two less than ideal sides... but as for the numbers, I think the pictures speak for themselves... Having both 'squares' filled and overflowing and traffic jams all over Beirut is a testament to the numbers. Not to say that the other side doesn't have numbers. If they don't have the numbers, call the elections, defeat the opposition, wo khalesna min hay stalemate...

    My concern for these protests is that it is hurting Sunni-Shi'ite relations and very much. My concern is not for the tribunal (as I explained above) nor for the economy. The economy is fine (well, not unusually bad). Shops are full, resturants are opening even in Gemayzeh, traffic all over, people are going out a3deh a3deh... If Moussa is unable to give something though, we can expect something to happen after the holidays... nshAllah kher.

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  13. Please dont hang on my economy is fine comment... our economy is in tatters, to be mild. But it is not due to the protests, thats my point.

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  14. Ok, it seems that you are not really getting it. You are still in the 2005 mentality while your fellow Lebanese got over the orange zoo that faded away and turned yellow.

    There will be no parliamentary elections before the weapons of hizballah are handed to the Lebanese army. Any elections under threat of arms is no longer acceptable in a free society and it will not allow independent shiites to express themselves. The Lebanese cannot be equal if some have militias and weapons and other don't. This is a fundamental principle.
    Also, there's will be no parliamentary elections before the presidential elections because the latter are due in 2007, while the former are not due before 2009. First things first, respect the priorities and the will of the voters and the constitutional events. If these principles are not respected than the pro-Syrian camp will be engaged in an unlawful rebellion (coup d'etat)

    When the elections eventually happen under a new and fair election law then everyone will have his fair chance.

    PS: only 1/3 of the martyrs square was used. And the riad solh square is the smaller one. Also, the squares were filled with tents which took a huge chunk of the areas and this is why the roads leading in where jammed, i.e. transfer of masses and not extra masses. So this demo was of the same size as the one in March 8, 2005. It was mostly of one sect (check the video above) in addition to Syrian workers and pro-hamas Palestinian refugees.

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  15. Abu Jaafar,

    The opposition holds the presidency of the republic and the presidency of parliament. This is a fact. Asking for a blocking one third just when the international tribunal law is in is no coincidence at all. The opposition is endeovering day and night to stop that tribunal and at any cost. I can explain to you the logic of Hizballah and Aoun in very crude sectarian terms like I heard from many of their supporters. But I'd rather not to at this point. However, using the Palestinian issue and dominizing the Future "Wahhabist/Sunni" movement is a common retheoric for both Aoun and Hizballah and is only part of their sectarian agenda.

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  16. Abu Jaafar, after the Eid el Fitr celebrations when all groups went back to the Berri-sponsored talks, the ruling majority agreed to include 3 or 4 ministers from the FPM. Aoun declared after one of the meetings that they had been a success and that they had accepted the offer. Hizballah and Amal didn't accept, however, and after 'consulting' with Aoun, he reversed his stance and rejected the offer. At the time there was an article in Naharnet that reported to that effect, but I'm not sure if they updated the article after Aoun's refusal, and thereby deleted his initial statements.

    As for your election statements, I'm sorry to say they're just a mindless repetition of a party line. In 2005 the only parties pushing for keeping the election law as it was, were Amal and Hizballah, Aoun's primary allies. So the people calling the elections unfair, and disproportional are then ones who ensured it was that way in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I think there should be a change in the election law (hehe post coming, post coming...) but it shouldn't be used as excuse to bring down the government, especially by those created and extended the life of the present election law. This is just another example of how the pro-Syrian camp is using Lebanon's real issues to their destructive end, not to a constructive one.

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