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Syria's Man in Lebanon Arrested: Three Reasons to Pay Attention

Lebanon's former Information Minister Michel Samaha was unceremoniously arrested in his home early Thursday and allegedly confessed to participating in a plan to transfer explosives from Syria to Lebanon, writes Elias Muhanna. While the facts are still murky, this doesn't happen in Lebanon, raising eyebrows about what's really going on behind the scenes.
Lebanese Information Minister Michel Samaha answers a question at a joint news conference with his Syrian counterpart Ahmad al-Hasan in Damascus. Sept 12, 2004. The two officials denied reports heralding a Syrian troop deployment following a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding that foreign troops quit Lebanon.REUTERS/ Khaled al-Hariri

What to make of today’s arrest of former Lebanese minister Michel Samaha?

The silver-tongued politician, well-known for his close ties to the Syrian government and its allies in Lebanon, was arrested Thursday morning at his home in a Beirut neighborhood. A group of police officers reportedly stormed the apartment at dawn, while the couple was still in their pajamas, “armed as though they were going to go liberate something,” said Samaha’s wife, Gladys.

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