IS militants plotted to assassinate France's Macron during Beirut visit: Lebanese media

IS militants plotted to assassinate France's Macron during Beirut visit: Lebanese media
A report released on Monday by a Lebanese daily said that Islamic State group militants were plotting to kill the French president during a visit to Beirut in 2020, as well as plots to assassinate other Lebanese officials
2 min read
14 March, 2022
Macron made two visits to Beirut in 2020 following the port explosion on August 4 [Getty- archive]

Islamic State [IS] group militants were reportedly planning to assassinate French President Emmanuel Macron and other Lebanese officials in 2020, a Lebanese newspaper has said on Monday.

An IS cell - caught in September 2020 - was plotting to kill Macron during his second visit to Lebanon that year, Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, said in a report.

Macron flew to Beirut only days after the massive port explosion on 4 August, and again on September 1, and met with the heads and representatives of Lebanon’s main ruling factions.

Investigations revealed that the IS militants were planning on also killing Lebanese politicians, including former Prime Minister and head of the Future Movement, Saad Hariri – whose father was assassinated in 2005 - as well as head of the Free Patriotic Movement and MP Gebran Bassil, according to the paper, which has close ties with Iran-backed Hezbollah.

Live Story

A senior security official told Al-Akhbar that the network was in the "final stages" of its plan and had a "high level of professionalism".

In late September of 2020, Lebanese police killed nine IS militants during a hunt for "terrorists" linked to several deadly attacks, including some against Lebanese soldiers. Others were arrested during the raid.

The incident came more than a month after the Lebanese army and security forces launched a manhunt for suspects in the August 21 killing of two municipal policemen and the son of the mayor of the northern village of Kaftoun.

It appeared that the cell which allegedly plotted to kill the French president during his visit to the Lebanese capital was of the same network, the report said.