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Latest news > Islamic State foiled in plot to attack Lebanese Christians with explosives smuggled in cheese

Islamic State foiled in plot to attack Lebanese Christians with explosives smuggled in cheese


18 December 2018

Security authorities discovered explosives hidden in buckets of cheese smuggled into Lebanon foiling Islamic State (IS) plans to attack Christians.

IS jihadis had intended to target places of worship and gatherings of Christians to “cause chaos” during Lebanon’s parliamentary elections earlier this year.

The terrorist plot, which was planned in rebel-held Idlib, northern Syria, was uncovered during a ten-month Lebanese police surveillance operation, codenamed “Lethal Cheese”, the country’s caretaker interior minister said on 10 December.

Caption
In 2016 an Islamic State suicide bomber blew themselves up on the steps of a church in Al Qaa, a predominantly Christian town on Lebanon’s border with Syria. Lebanon’s Christian community has been established for centuries, but Christians are now a minority (around 34%)

Lebanon is the only Arab state that is not officially Muslim and has the highest proportion of Christians of any country in the Middle East, although this is well below 50%. The huge influx of refugees fleeing the war in Syria, the majority of whom are Sunni Muslims, now comprise a quarter of Lebanon’s population.