NICOSIA ø The United States has warned its nationals of a major Al Qaida
attack in Lebanon.
A warden message issued by the U.S. embassy in Beirut warned Americans
of the prospect of anr Islamic insurgency strike in Lebanon, Middle East Newsline reported. The embassy
urged the U.S. community in Lebanon to stay away from shopping centers in
The message did not elaborate on the danger of
Americans in shopping malls.
"In light of recent events, U.S. embassy personnel are exercising
greater caution with respect to visits to shopping malls in the Beirut area
and recommend American citizens do the same," the warden message, dated Oct.
One day later, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the
embassy was referring to the arrest of an Al Qaida cell in Lebanon. The cell
was led by Ahmed Miqati and was said to have been the first time Lebanon has
detained part or all of an Al Qaida network.
Boucher also said the embassy was responding to the attempted
assassination of former Lebanese Minister Marwan Hamade on Oct. 1. Hamade
was regarded as an opponent of Syria's military presence in Lebanon.
"I think they [incidents] reflect a certain climate of violence that
leads us to concern about areas where people might be congregating," Boucher