Foreign travel advice

Lebanon

Terrorism

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Lebanon. Islamist extremist groups will seek to target the Lebanese state, security services, and civilians, and have the intent to target foreigners inside Lebanon.

Attacks could therefore take place in areas visited by foreigners, in Beirut and elsewhere, including hotels, restaurants and bars, markets, tourist and religious sites, large outdoor events, western-style shopping centres and supermarket chains. If you plan on visiting these places, you should make sure your security arrangements are sufficient.

There is also currently a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals specifically, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.

Extremist groups have in particular been known to operate within the city of Tripoli (Trablous), Palestinian refugee camps and in areas close to the Syrian border - including around Hermel and Aarsal

Politically motivated terrorist attacks also remain likely. A number of such attacks have taken place in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Recent incidents include:

  • on 28 and 29 June 2017, 4 attackers exploded suicide belts in a refugee settlement in Arsal. Follow-up security investigations are ongoing.

  • on 31 August 2016, an explosion at the Ksara roundabout near Zahle resulted in one death and 11 injuries.

  • on 27 June 2016, a series of suicide bomb attacks in Al Qaa resulted in 5 deaths and 21 reported wounded.

  • on 12 April 2016, a car exploded outside Ain El Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Saida (Sidon), causing at least 1 death.

  • on 12 November 2015, there were explosions in Burj-al-Barajneh, in the southern suburb area of Beirut, 43 people were killed and 239 injured.

Lebanese security authorities are at a high state of alert and are conducting security operations across Lebanon. You should be vigilant at all times and follow the advice of the Lebanese authorities. Avoid large crowds, demonstrations, political gatherings and the use of shared public transport.

If you notice or suspect a security incident is underway, you should immediately leave the area. Suspects have detonated explosions to avoid arrest. Keep clear of affected areas in the immediate aftermath of any attacks. Bystanders have been killed in a number of terrorist attacks in recent years.

Monitor media reports and keep up to date with the travel advice covering your location. Remain alert to both regional tensions given Lebanon’s links and proximity to Syria, and to the potential for sectarian attacks.

Kidnap

There’s a threat of kidnapping in Lebanon. The Lebanese authorities have warned that foreigners, including westerners could be targeted by kidnappers and other militant groups. Criminal kidnappings have occurred in the Bekaa Valley, most recently of a Saudi national in November 2017, the Syrian border regions and Beirut, but could take place anywhere in Lebanon.

Terrorist kidnappings are also possible and Daesh and other terrorist groups view those engaged in humanitarian aid work or journalism as legitimate targets.

The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and making concessions increases the risk of further hostage-taking.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.