The Barbara Checkpoint was established by the Kataeb, a Christian Lebanese militia, on the Beirut-Tripoli highway, next to the town of Barbara (North Lebanon) with the objective of controlling people coming from the regions of the North and entering the "free zone." The free zone was the region of Jbeil which was mainly inhabited by Christian Lebanese opposed to the Syrian military presence in Lebanon. It was established on April 22, 1979 following the massacre of 13 Kataeb supporters by Lebanese allied to Syria, next to the village of Amchit (located in the region of Jbeil). In the late 1980's, the checkpoint was then controlled by the Lebanese Forces, created initially to be the armed branch of the Kataeb. However the Lebanese forces split from the Kataeb after refusing to remove the Barbara Checkpoint. The checkpoint was then controlled by Lebanese Forces led by Samir Geagea. The Barbara Checkpoint was divided into two adjacent checkpoints. One was a tax checkpoint in which the militiamen collected money from some of the people who wanted to cross. The second one was a security checkpoint. On February 23, 1989 the tax checkpoint of Barbara was dismantled and the security barrier kept functioning under the Lebanese Forces until February 1991.
Many civilians were kidnapped at the Barbara Checkpoint. Witness testimonies state that the people detained at the Barbara Checkpoint were killed and buried in a nearby place or that they were transferred to Kataeb's main headquarters in Karantina, Beirut. Others believe that the detainees were eventually transferred to prisons in Israel. One of the known incidents regarding the Barbara Checkpoint is the abduction of four Iranian diplomats -Ahmad Motevaselian, Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi, Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam, and Kazem Akhavan. According to Lebanese media, they were abducted on July 4, 1982 by the Lebanese Forces at the Barbara Checkpoint. It is believed that the abducted individuals were transferred to the Kataeb headquarters in Karantina (Beirut). Their fates remain unknown.