Security officials confirmed that Hizbullah placed cameras near runway 17 during a period the airport was being used by Saad Hariri, Fouad Siniora and the defense ministers of Lebanon and Spain.
According to communications between the defense minister and the army’s intelligence service and published by An-Nahar, wireless cameras were placed on containers belonging to Hizbullah’s construction company Jihad al-Binaa.
According to a memo from the army’s intelligence, an army patrol noticed the presence of a new container placed on top of another on April 23. Two days later, the patrol saw an opening in one of the side of the containers. On the morning of the 26th, an officer inspected the opening, and suspected that it was a camera. The army patrol filed a report to the head of airport security (which answers to the pro-Hizbullah General Security department), Wafiq Choukair at the airport twice, the first time on the 23rd and the second time on the 26th.
According to the memo, Choukair promised to deal with the problem. On the 28th, however, the army saw three individuals in civilian uniform near the containers, with one of them removing a camera from the container.
In his response to the army’s intelligence memo, Defense Minister Elias El Murr berated the army’s intelligence for not reporting the above activities to the civilian leadership or the judiciary, especially that they occurred during the same period the runway and airport were being used by Saad Hariri, Elias Murr, Fouad Siniora and the Spanish defense minister.
Murr asked why the army did not detain the individuals who removed the camera, and why they neglected to mention in their memo that the army also confiscated a Vertex wireless device. Murr said this issue constitutes a threat to national security since runway 17 is used for take-offs, and overlooks the private jets hangars (including Hariri’s), the airforce base, and the VIP visitors building.
The pro-Hizbullah airport security responded to Murr, claiming that upon learning about the issue, they contacted Hizbullah to clarify the matter and learned that the containers belonged to Jihad al-Binaa, which installed security cameras to “prevent thefts” and protect Hizbullah property in an area that is not part of the airport!
With Murr reportedly referring this matter to the prosecutor general, Jumblatt today accused airport security of following orders from Hizbullah. He said scanners and measures put in place to implement UNSC 1701 are worthless as long as the airport is under the complete control of Hizbullah security official Wafiq Safa, who, according to Jumblatt, dictates the movements of the Lebanese army and security forces there.
"The containers near the airport must be removed, the Iranian ambassador in Lebanon must be expelled from Beirut and Iranian planes must be banned from landing in Lebanon," Jumblatt said.
Jumblatt said monitoring the airport could lead to kidnappings or assassinations of Lebanese or non-Lebanese officials on the airport road or on the runway 17.
During his second press conference on the issue in two days, Jumblatt showed a map of what he said was Hizbullah's extensive telecommunication network in the country, which he said extends from Beirut to the south, Bekaa and even Syria. He said new lines are being planned for the area connecting Kesrouane and Jbeil.
He said areas that are not under the state’s control (such as Hibzullah’s) have become reservoirs for booby-trapped cars, adding that these areas enable “them” to dispatch a booby-trapped car to kill any security or political figure. “It was not a coincidence that [ISF CT chief] Wissam Eid was assassinated along the Chevrolet road [close to the suburb], who apparently was a key figure in the Hariri investigation, and is said to have been able to monitor the communications of some of the illegal parties.”
Jumblatt predicted that there will not be an election on May 13, and that there will instead be some “pre-emptive” action to make sure it will not take place.
"I am not afraid of anything but I am stating this information before they kill me or Saad Hariri", he said.
Update. Prosecutor General Said Mirza has launched an investigation.