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Iran Embassy bombing: Repeat of Iraqi model in Lebanon?

The suicide bombing targeting the Iranian Embassy in Beirut on Nov. 19 shows that al-Qaeda has established both tactical and ideological cells in Lebanon.
Civil Defence personnel extinguish a fire on cars at the site of the explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut November 19, 2013. The cultural attache Ebrahim Ansari at the Iranian embassy in Beirut was among at least 23 people killed in two explosions on Tuesday, Lebanese sources said. Lebanese Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said the explosions wounded 146 people.     REUTERS/Ahmad Yassine (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX15JQX
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The worst expectations that prevailed in Lebanon’s security and political spheres during the last few weeks, about the possibility of Lebanon following the Iraqi model, actually came true. The accumulation of intelligence by Lebanese authorities in the last few days all pointed to such a probability. Most worrisome was information that al-Qaeda was preparing to launch terrorist attacks against Ashoura rallies organized by Shiites in Lebanon, in a manner that would spread, into Lebanon, the ongoing violent Shiite-Sunni Iraqi conflict.

But, the most dangerous aspect of the twin bombing attacks that rocked Beirut’s southern suburb on Nov. 19 was the targeting of the Iranian Embassy in Lebanon. This reflects, in form, a further souring of political relations between Tehran and Riyadh. The second dangerous aspect was that the attack was executed in a style reminiscent of the continuing terror campaign that rages on in Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites.

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