The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) already has pretty significant territory under its direct control, but the group’s ambitions extend well outside its own borders, as reflected in today’s Lebanon attack.
Early in the day, Lebanon announced it had uncovered a plot to assassinate parliament speaker Nabih Berri and arrested a number of ISIS-linked suspects. Amid the arrests, ISIS launched a suicide car bomb, narrowly missing Major General Abbas Ibrahim, the lead of the General Security Directorate.
Berri and Maj. Gen. Ibrahim are two of the top Shi’ite officials in Lebanon, and the ISIS plots reflect the group’s effort to target Shi’ites everywhere they can find them in the region.
Though this isn’t ISIS first foray into Lebanon, these are much higher-profile targets than the previous strategy of car bombing random Shi’ite neighborhoods, and could reflect a growing ISIS capability to attack Lebanon as well.