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al-Qaeda in Lebanon: The Marines' New Tripoli?

al-Qaeda has been making every effort to secure Lebanon as a base of operations and, further, "to make in particular the area of Tripoli (in the north of Lebanon) a new Afghanistan since several of its bases are in this city," according to one source.

Be sure to read Olivier Guitta's latest column at Tech Central Station: Al Qaeda… in Lebanon.

Regarding the December rocket attacks against Israel from the south of the country that Zarqawi (Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq) claimed responsibility for, Fatfat [Ahmed Fatfat, the new incoming Lebanese Interior Minister] confirmed it was indeed the work of Al Qaeda. He added that it was an attack carried out by the Palestinian terror group FPLP-GC based out of Damascus, but financed directly by Al Qaeda. Finally Fatfat affirmed that FPLP-GC answers directly to Damascus and that a branch of Al Qaeda could be manipulated by Syrian security services.

The Kuwaiti daily Al-Seyassah of February 9 seconded Fatfat's assertions. Quoting an Iraqi source, the journalist stated that Al-Qaeda is leading a large infiltration operation inside Lebanon, where it already has sleeper cells.

It is not outside the realm of possiblity that the Marine Corps Hymn may one day have a more contemporary meaning and fresh coordinates for the opening lines:

From the Halls of Montezuma To the shores of Tripoli...