Lebanon security forces arrest IS-linked cleric in Tripoli
TRIPOLI (Lebanon) - Security forces on Sunday arrested a Lebanese man accused of being a cleric and recruiting agent for the extremist Islamic State jihadist group, a security source said.
"Ibrahim al-Barakat was arrested early on Sunday and is accused of being a religious jurist for Daesh in the northern city of Tripoli," the security official said, using the Arabic acronym for IS.
Barakat, who is in his 40s, was arrested while trying to flee northern Lebanon to Turkey using a fake passport.
He is accused of recruiting young men from Tripoli to fight with IS in Syria and Iraq and of attacking Lebanese army units in the Sunni-majority city last year.
The army launched a security plan in April 2014 in an effort to stabilise Tripoli, which has seen deadly rounds of fighting between Sunnis who support the Syrian uprising and pro-Damascus regime Alawite residents.
Sunni gunmen in the city have often also clashed with the army.
In October 2014, 11 soldiers were killed when clashes erupted following the arrest of a Lebanese man accused of recruiting fighters for jihadist rebel groups in Syria.