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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Aug 09th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Jumblatt warns of Hezbollah surveillance at airport - w/Video & Pictures
Jumblatt warns of Hezbollah surveillance at airport - w/Video & Pictures PDF Print E-mail
Written by Now Lebanon, Beirut to the Beltway, Beirut Spring, Lebop   
Friday, 02 May 2008


MP Walid Jumblatt, head of the Democratic Gathering bloc, uncovered a secret document he had received that shows Hezbollah is setting up telecommunications networks across Lebanon.

“A warning has been directed to Lebanese authorities not to intercept this network,” Jumblatt said, also noting that, among other details included in the document, there is information about some activities raising suspicions near the airport landing areas.

A Lebanese army patrol noticed that several containers have been placed on a piece of land located on a secondary road between the airport and the Ouzai area, one of which has a small hole in it through which an object was reflecting light.

“This has raised suspicions that a camera could have been placed in this container to watch the landing runway number 17 at the airport,” Jumblatt said.

He also noted that some civilians were seen near the container and that one of them had taken a camera from it.

Jumblatt did not reveal the source that passed him the information.

“It seems that in the midst of these critical times, a security operation is being set up on runway number 17 at the airport,” Jumblatt said.

“A Sam 7 missile could easily bring down a civilian plane,” he added.

Jumblatt called for awareness, “as it seems we are facing a major security activity.”

-NOW Staff



100 containers and the state of Hizbullah

Walid Jumblatt said he has information that Hizbullah is preparing for a major operation targeting the airport, possibly downing a civilian airplane or killing a major figure. He said a secret document he received points to the existence of "100 containers" in the vicinity of the airport in a Hizbullah-controlled area, with one container fitted with surveillance cameras to watch runway 17. The suspicious container apparently drew the attention of a "security patrol".

Jumblatt said the Lebanese authorities have been "warned" not to try to dismantle Hizbullah's telecommunication network. (source: 14march.org)

كشف رئيس اللقاء الديمقراطي النائب وليد جنبلاط عن "وثيقة سرية وصلته تتعلق بمخطط لحزب الله من إتصالات وغيره، إضافة إلى إنذار رسمي وجّه نحو السلطات الأمنية". وأشار جنبلاط الى ان الوثيقة تفيد "عن وجود باحة كبيرة على طريق فرعي يمتد من المطار الى منطقة الأوزاعي (في محيط المطار) وتحوي مئة مستوعب، ووجود مستوعب تم وضعه حديثاً فوق مستوعب آخر".

أضاف "ثم ما لاحظته دورية أمنية وجود طاقة صغيرة اشتبهت بها، وفي المستوعب جسمًا غريبًا يعكس الضوء أحيانًا، نظرًا للظلام داخل المستوعب، فاشتبه أن يكون كاميرا للمراقبة موجهه بإتجاه المدرج الغربي رقم 17 للمطار. ثم شوهدت 3 عناصر قرب المستوعب باللباس المدني، وبيد أحدهم كاميرا أخذوها من المستوعب".

ولم يذكر جنبلاط شيئًا عن الرسالة أو الوثيقة. إنما أكد أن "بعض الجهات يبدو أنها تراقب الشخصيات في الظروف الأمنية الراهنة". وقال جنبلاط: "يبدو اليوم أن الإتجاه هو نحو عملية أمنية نوعية على المدرج 17"، مشيرًا إلى أن "صاروخ سام 7، يستطيع إسقاط طائرة مدنية مثلاً. يبدو وبعد غياب أسابيع، بعدما قتل شاهد كبير، يبدو أننا على طريق عمل أمني كبير على الطريق"، داعيًا إلى "التنبه والحذر".

This frustrating "revelation", though it confirms earlier reports that Hizbullah's been monitoring the airport,  confirms the helplessness of Lebanese authorities in acting against the militia, which occupies downtown Beirut, has its own telecommunications network, and launches "divine wars" whenever it sees fit.

A source in the finance ministry was quoted as saying on Thursday by Naharnet that authorities cannot even get residents in Hizbullah-controlled areas to pay their electricity bills, or prevent illegal construction in the southern suburb, near the airport (so no surprise that they can't even inspect those containers). 

The power authority, however, has not managed to collect fees for its services from areas that are not under state authority, mainly regions controlled by Hizbullah "that is why it does not have enough revenue to cover fuel oil purchases for its stations," the source explained.

A statement released by Interior Minister Hassan Sabaa said police has not been able to prevent 160 illegal construction sites in Hizbullah-controlled south Beirut.

"If police cannot prevent illegal construction, and power authority fee collectors get beaten up while trying to carry out their duties in areas where they cannot have police protection, how would the power authority be able to cover its expenses?" the source asked. (Naharnet)

Now Lebanon today ran a report on Hizbullah aptly titled, "Untouchable".

Though many see Hezbollah’s willingness to break the law and to further expand its authority in “closed areas” as an obvious reflection of its desire to establish a “state within the state,” the ISF is to blame, too, for so often turning a blind-eye on flagrant Hezbollah violations.

According to one ISF source, the relationship between the ISF and Hezbollah is well defined, as Hezbollah “has made clear that they should not be approached by state organs.”  The ISF’s compliance with this demand is thanks to a governmental decision, since it “believes that the ISF should allow Hezbollah to continue operating as is until the issue is solved on a regional level,” the source explained. “This is why the tents in downtown are still there.”
The “state within a state” mentality is not new to Lebanese who have long decided legal questions of personal status according to sect. Hezbollah, however, has developed this notion further, by extending borders, including everything from road services, to electricity and phone services, social and medical services, and even to buying land and properties, placing the territory under their own jurisdiction.

These developments undermine the state’s ability to enter the areas as it deems in need of surveillance. Even Electricité du Liban (EDL) employees have, for example, felt threatened when entering certain “closed areas.” Former President Emile Lahoud actually had to commission ISF officers to accompany these EDL employees from time to time.   

The problem today, said [Hezbollah expert Imad Salameh], is Hezbollah’s military positioning in a climate of severe confessional imbalance. “Today, the system is no longer able to attain the balance [it needs],” he argued. This may lead to another 1958 or 1975, concluded Salameh.

According to the ISF source, Hezbollah’s disregard for the state authority is indicative of its disregard of the state as a whole, particularly during the current crisis. As the political vacuum continues unabated, the state sadly seems to have just accepted that Hezbollah will operate on its own terms. As such, the problem is not simply that Hezbollah has chosen to create a “state within a state,” but also that it has been allowed to do so by the government. And so long as the state continues to allow Hezbollah to demarcate its own boundaries, the more likely it is that further confrontations between Hezbollah and the ISF will ensue.



Pictures Of Hezbollah’s Airport-Monitoring Containers?

Mr. Walid Jumblat refers to a “secret document” which proves that Hezbollah is monitoring the Airport’s runway 17 using containers in Ouzai. (for commentary and details, click here and here )

Since Mr. Jumblat suggested that the containers could be used to shoot down a landing airplane, the matter should be looked into as soon as possible by the authorities. But if you’re curious, I checked the recently-updated Google Earth and found out exactly where those containers could be:

Below is a close-up of the Area marked in red:


Below Notice how the containers have unhindered access via a wide sand road to the main street.


Over at LPJ, Blogger Charles makes a valid point:

In Beirut, you don’t even need radar to track aircraft. From any tall building, the naked eye is a decent instrument to use to track incoming aircraft into the airport. Much more can be done the higher up in the mountains one goes. Any radical with a surface to air missile can set up base on the Rmleit al Bayda beach, or any seaside tall building, and take potshots at incoming planes. Send a monitor to Cyprus, infiltrate Cypriot government monitoring systems, or install your own system in the generally ungoverned Turkish Cypriot area and you’ll have even better equipment with which to monitor aircraft in the Eastern Mediterranean.  


Beirut International Airport Possible Attack
The Beirut airport, currently the Rafiq Hariri International Airport, is being targetted for attack by Hezbollah, according to Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt.

I have no idea why he is publicizing this now. The countries supplying Unifil with troops and support all know that Hezbollah has its own monitoring system of the airport. Every American pilot who landed at the Beirut airport knew the exact vacant apartment from which Hezbollah radar stations tracked their approach to the airport. The technology to track aircraft is simple and easy to purchase on the legal market (let alone what you can get on the black market).

Hezbollah has outposts in Ouzai that monitor incoming aircraft. They can easily shift the location of their tracking devices, but most NATO military aircraft (ie, Unifil planes, US military planes supplying ammunitions for Nahr al Bared, and even Amro Moussa's private government sponsored aircraft) have the ability to track those who track them.

Check out the specs they are offering on private jets. You can definitely get a radar tracking system in your next GulfStream, Lear Jet, or personal Boeing or Airbus. I'm sure Saad Hariri, Issam Fares, and Najib Miqati have them.

In Beirut, you don't even need radar to track aircraft. From any tall building, the naked eye is a decent instrument to use to track incoming aircraft into the airport. Much more can be done the higher up in the mountains one goes. Any radical with a surface to air missile can set up base on the Rmleit al Bayda beach, or any seaside tall building, and take potshots at incoming planes. Send a monitor to Cyprus, infiltrate Cypriot government monitoring systems, or install your own system in the generally ungoverned Turkish Cypriot area and you'll have even better equipment with which to monitor aircraft in the Eastern Mediterranean.

One doesn't even need a missile to take down aircraft flying into Beirut. The Serbs took down a US F-117 Nighthawk stealth plane with normal technology in 1999. Military analysts at the time claimed automatic weapons fired in the right direction might have contributed to taking down the aircraft; thus sophisticated missile weaponry was not needed.

The Israelis know this and use countermeasures. During the 2006 war, I do not recall that Israeli aircraft - planes and helicopters - were shot down, despite lots of random gunfire and anti-aircraft weaponry pointed in their direction. During that war, it was visible to the naked eye in Beirut that Israeli helicopters flew up the coast and attacked Dahieh without meaningful retaliation.

If Hezbollah or others decide to attack international aircraft, that is a tremendous escalation. However, the risk is always there.

Why publicize it, now? Is a March 14 politician or foreign personality being targetted? Does Jumblatt want the government to take further action against Hezbollah prior to the presidential dialogues? Perhaps he just wants everyone to be mindful that they are taking risks whenever they fly in and out of the country?

Posted by Charles Malik at 9:28 PM



Please see the leading article on this topic [ HERE ]

Last Updated ( Friday, 02 May 2008 )
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