Al-Qaeda threat to Hizbullah?

The Lebanese Shia organisation, Hizbullah, is on its highest possible state of alert, according to The National. Besides confirmation of this from an unnamed Hizbullah military commander, the paper notes signs of unusually strict security measures on the ground.

“In 20 years, I have never seen Hizbullah this paranoid and worried about security incidents,” a resident of Beirut's southern suburbs with close ties to the organisation is quoted as saying.

Although the alert may be connected with Israel, The National suggests the cause of Hizbullah's fear could be coming from another direction: Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda.

The article mentions "a reported influx of Sunni jihadists from across the region who are drawn to Lebanon because of its poor internal security, proximity to Israel and its large population of Shiites". It quotes an official from Hizbullah's military wing who says: “The Qaeda guys want to target us, you can see their statements on the internet about targeting the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon.”

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 4 November 2009.