Internal Security Forces

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Internal Security Forces
قوى الأمن الداخلي
Lebanese ISF Logo.jpg
Active 1860–present
Country Lebanon
Branch Lebanese Armed Forces
Type Military Gendarmerie
Role Preservation of Public Order, Security, Counter-terrorism, Intelligence, and Traffic Order
Size 40,000+
Garrison/HQ Beirut
Nickname(s) ISF
Motto(s) Security for the Nation and Civilians
Engagements 2007 Lebanon conflict
Battle of Sidon
Battle of Arsal
North Lebanon clashes (2014)
Major General Imad Othman
Cpt. Wissam Eid  
Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan  

The Internal Security Forces Directorate (Arabic: المديرية العامة لقوى الأمن الداخلي‎, translit. al-Mudiriyya al-'aamma li-Qiwa al-Amn al-Dakhili; French: Forces de Sécurité Intérieure; abbreviated ISF) is the national police and security force of Lebanon.

Modern police were established in Lebanon in 1861, with creation of the Gendarmerie.[1] In April 2005, Ashraf Rifi became head of the ISF, replacing Ali Hajj.[2] Rifi then started to recruit younger members to become part of Lebanese Intelligence. His term ended in April 2013, and he was replaced by Roger Salem,[3] and Ibrahim Basbouss subsequently. On March 8, 2017, the Lebanese Cabinet appointed Imad Othman director-general of the ISF. He took command the following day.[4]

The number of personnel reached 30,000 people by 2000 and has grown to over 40,000 by 2013.


Their missions include :


Ministry of the interior

  • Inspector-General
  • Directorate General of Internal Security Forces
    • Staff
    • Territorial Gendarmerie
    • Mobile Gendarmerie
    • Judicial Police
    • Central Administration
    • Beirut Police
    • ISF Institute
    • Social Services
    • Commander of the Security of Embassies and Public Administration

Elite Force

An elite brigade was established after the 2007 conflict, which is regarded as the most advanced, well trained force in Lebanon, known as the Panthers (Al Fouhoud). The number of ISF personnel in this rank is kept secret and unknown to both the public and international community. They are mostly engaged in securing hostages, SWAT team raids and fighting terrorists. The Panthers use M4 Carbine, Heckler & Koch G36 and M24 Sniper Weapon System unlike the regular ISF personnel that use FN P90, AK-47s and M16 rifles. M113, VAB, ivecoLMV, VBTP-GUARANI armored personnel carriers are also in their use. Uniforms are a Brown/Maroon beret, most of the Fouhouds wear full black outfits with black helmets and goggles.

See also


  1. ^ "Historical overview". Interior Security Forces (Lebanon). Retrieved 26 June 2007. 
  2. ^ "Lebanese security chiefs replaced". BBC. 28 April 2005. Retrieved 26 June 2007. 
  3. ^ "Rifi hands over police helm to Salem". The Daily Star. 30 March 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Machnouk oversees Internal Security Forces director-general handover". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. 2017-03-09. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  5. ^ "The EU helps the Internal Security Forces to strengthen the rule of law in Lebanon [archive]". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  6. ^ "Nouveaux radars : Plus de 67.000 contraventions pour excès de vitesse en deux mois - B.B". 7 January 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  7. ^ nationale, Gendarmerie. "GIGN: Visite d'une délégation de sécurité française au Liban". Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  8. ^

External links

  • Lebanese Internal Security Forces
Military offices
Preceded by
Roger Salem
Ibrahim Basbouss Succeeded by
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