According to the report, two months ago Lebanese security forces were informed that senior al-Qaeda officials were in Lebanon to plan assassinations against political figures and religious leaders as well as attacks on religious centers.
- Al-Qaeda man suspected of planning Olympics attack
The reliability of the information could not be verified at the time, however local security forces pursued the matter.
Two weeks ago, the information was confirmed by other sources and the plot to assassinate Beri and Qahwaji was exposed.
Al-Akhbar reported that al-Qaeda offered $100,000 for Berri's assassination and another $100,000 for Qahwaji's murder.
The assassination was to be carried out through a “missile ambush” of the targets' motorcades.
According to the report, the order for the operation came from al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
It was further reported al-Zawahiri recently told al-Qaeda officials that the organization has decided to make Lebanon its base in the Orient.
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