EARTHtimes – Beirut – Three Iranians and a Lebanese man who reside in Beirut’s southern suburbs, a hotbed of Hezbollah militant activity, were arrested last week on charges of monitoring the residence of Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, security sources said Friday. Geagea’s home is in Meerab, northeast of Beirut. The sources said the four men were spotted in a rented car near Geagea’s residence last week. Upon checking the plate number of the red-painted car it was found owned by a car rental company based in south Beirut and it had been rented to three Iranians and a Lebanese man. Police interrogated the four who claimed to have lost their way as they were on a trip along the "Jesus Trail" and ended up in Meerab. The four were set free, but due to contradictions in their testimonies, a judicial source said they might be interrogated again. The sources said the interrogators were wondering how two of the arrested claim they do not speak Arabic while they go to an Arab university, where courses are taught in Arabic.

Beirut – Lebanon’s Druze  leader Walid Jumblatt Thursday warned ruling majority leaders to exercise extra caution when travelling to and from the Beirut airport, noting reports that Hezbollah was monitoring one of the runways. "I have received information through security channels that Hezbollah has a surveillance point with cameras in the Ouzai district which overlooks the runway 17 at Beirut international airport where most planes land," Jumblatt said. Jumblatt accused Hezbollah, a close ally of Syria, of preparing what he described as a "strategic operation " against leaders in the anti-Syrian ruling majority. The Druze leader warned all majority leaders to exercise "extra caution" in the coming weeks during their travel in and outside the country. 

Hizbullah labeled the recent accustions of Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt against the group as "fiction," in a statement sent to The Daily Star on Friday. Hizbullah described Jumblatt’s charges of setting up cameras near Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport aimed at conducting surveillance operations as "nightmares and police fiction stories."  "Jumblatt’s accusations come in line with the US-led campaign against the resistance in Lebanon and other parts of the world," the statement from Hizbullah’s media office said.  "Jumblatt is simply repeating the words of US President George W. Bush," it added.  Hizbullah also criticized Jumblatt and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea for predicting assassinations against politicians affiliated to the anti-Syrian March 14 Forces.  "When we hear people like Jumblatt and Geagea predicting the occurrence of assassinations, it becomes much easier for us to know which parties are behind such suspicious scenarios," the statement said.

Jesus Christ, according to biblical history, visited south Lebanon and may have reached as far as the Sidon coastline, 45 kilometres south of Beirut. Meerab, however, is almost 80 kilometers north of Sidon.

One of the Iranian suspects said in his testimony that was visiting Lebanon because he was married to a Lebanese woman. The two others said they were students at the Beirut Arab University and the Islamic University, respectively, the security sources said.

According to sources two of the Iranians claimed they did not speak Arabic and asked for a Farsi translator during their interrogation.

The three suspects said they resided in an apartment owned by a Lebanese friend in south Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold that is off limits to Lebanese police and state authority.

According to some of Geagea’s lawyers who are following up the case, they will ask the authorities to further interrogate the four.

The report came hours after Progressive Socialist Party leader and anti-Syrian official, Walid Jumblat, accused Hezbollah of monitoring a Beirut airport runway used by executive jets and warned against a terrorist attack targeting an aircraft using the facility.