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BEIRUT, Lebanon - Al-Qaida has purportedly issued a statement threatening to topple Lebanon's "corrupt" Western-backed government, according to a London-based Arabic newspaper Monday.
The Al-Hayat newspaper reported that al-Qaida issued the statement from the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared in northern Lebanon.
"The organization has arrived in Lebanon and we will work on destroying this corrupt government that receives orders from the American administration," Al-Hayat said, quoting the statement.
Although it was impossible to verify the authenticity of the message, Information Minister Ghazi Aridi cast doubt on its veracity Monday.
Although al-Qaida has rarely carried out attacks in Lebanon, it is believed to have sympathizers among extremist factions in Palestinian refugee camps.
Lebanon's Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat has warned in recent months that al-Qaida was attempting to establish itself in Lebanon.
In December, al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for a rocket attack into northern Israel apparently carried out by a radical Palestinian group, and Fatfat has said Lebanese authorities had broken up four al-Qaida cells this year.