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Lebanon judge issues arrest warrant for top Syria intelligence official

A Lebanese judge on Monday issued an arrest warrant for a top Syrian intelligence official and his aide for alleged involvement in a bombing plot in Lebanon. Brigadier General Ali Mamlouk is accused [Al Jazeera report] of being involved in plotting a series of bomb attacks with former Lebanese information minister Michel Samaha. Samaha, who was branded a global terrorist [Reuters report] by the US Department of the Treasury [official website], was arrested in August for allegedly plotting to incite violence in Lebanon with the aid of Mamlouk and Syria. In October Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, a top Lebanese counter-Syrian intelligence official, was killed [Al Jazeera report] by a car bomb in Beirut believed to be in connection to his networks discovery of Samaha and Mamlouk's bomb plot.

The continuing civil war in Syria has significant influence on the stability of Lebanon, due to the two countries' complex political and sectarian ties. Violent clashes [Al Jazeera report] between opposing Syrian factions have been commonplace throughout Lebanon since the beginning of the uprising in Syria last year. Last month a study carried out by the the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] found [JURIST report] that more than 60,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Syria since March 2011. In the same month more than 50 countries asked [JURIST report] the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court [official website].

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