Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Master Terrorist Imad Mughniyeh Assassinated

The assassination of Imad Mughniyeh is a very big victory in the war on terror. Mughniyeh worked for al Qaeda, Iran, Fatah and was the number 2 man in Hezbollah. Short of bin Laden, Mughniyeh probably has more American blood on his hands than any other terrorist. His career spanned more than a quarter of a century, until he was killed today in a car bombing in Damascus.


For those who know the history of terrorism, the name of Imad Mughniyeh is immediately recognizable. Born in 1960, he is known to have been behind the 1983 bombings of the U.S. Embassy, and U.S. Marine and French peacekeeping barracks, which killed over 350, as well as the 1992 bombings of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the kidnapping of dozens of foreigners in Lebanon in the 1980s. He has been hunted by the U.S. since he engineered the kidnapping, torture and murder of CIA Lebanese Station Chief William Buckley in 1984. According to ex-CIA agent Robert Baer:

Mugniyah is probably the most intelligent, most capable operative we’ve ever run across, including the KGB or anybody else. He enters by one door, exits by another, changes his cars daily, never makes appointments on a telephone, never is predictable. He only uses people that are related to him that he can trust. He doesn’t just recruit people. He is the master terrorist, the grail that we have been after since 1983

And here is what an Israeli Intelligence had to say about Mughniyeh in 2001, speculating that he had been part of the planning along with al Qaeda for 9-11:

. . . Mughniyeh is probably the world’s most wanted outlaw. Unconfirmed reports in Beirut say he has undergone plastic surgery and is unrecognisable. . .

"We’ve only got scraps of information, not the full picture," admits one intelligence source, "but it was good enough for us to send a warning six weeks ago to our allies that an unprecedented massive terror attack was expected. One of our indications suggested that Imad Mughniyeh met with some of his dormant agents on secret trips to Germany. We believe that the operational brains behind the New-York attack were Mughniyeh and Zawahiri, . . .

. . . "Bin Laden is a schoolboy in comparison with Mughniyeh," says an Israeli who knows Mughniyeh . "The guy is a genius, someone who refined the art of terrorism to its utmost level. We studied him and reached the conclusion that he is a clinical psychopath motivated by uncontrollable psychological reasons, which we have given up trying to understand. The killing of his two brothers by the Americans only inflamed his strong motivation."

. . . Mughniyeh, 48, is a "sick man", says an intelligence officer who was in charge of his file. He is considered by Western intelligence agencies as the most dangerous active terrorist today. He is wanted by several governments and the Americans have put a $2m reward on his head.

. . . It was the assassination of one man in March 1984 that is said to have made Mughniyeh the CIA’s most wanted terrorist. Mughniyeh allegedly kidnapped the head of the CIA station in Beirut, William Buckley. The kidnapping triggered what later became known as ‘Irangate’, when the Americans tried to exchange Buckley (and others) with arms for Iran. However, the attempt ended in a fiasco. By one unconfirmed account, Mughniyeh tortured and killed Buckley with his own hands.

A year later, in a combined CIA/Mossad operation, a powerful car bomb went off at the entrance to the house of Hizbullah’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah. Seventy-five people were killed. One of them was his brother. Hunted by the CIA and the Mossad, Mughniyeh hid in Iran.

In February 1992, Israeli helicopter gunships attacked the convoy of the then head of Hizbullah, Sheikh Abas Musawi, in South Lebanon. Musawi, his wife and children were killed and the revenge attack followed a month later. According to press reports, Mughniyeh was called back into action and, in a well-planned and devastating attack, his people blew up the Israeli embassy in Argentina. The building was demolished and 92 were killed. Only last year, after a long investigation, did Argentina issue a warrant for Mughniyeh’s arrest.

The reprisal for the attack in Argentina came in December 1994, when a car bomb went off in a southern Shi’ite suburb of Beirut. Four people were killed. One of them was called Mughniyeh, but to the deep disappointment of those Israelis who planted the bomb it was the wrong one. Mughniyeh’s life was saved, but his other brother Fuad was killed. Mughniyeh waited for his opportunity for revenge.

. . . How to counter this kind of terrorism? "To fight these bastards you don’t need a military attack," said an experienced Israeli commando officer. "You only need to adopt Israel’s assassination policy."

Read the entire article. The assassination today of Mughniyeh, in Damascus by a car bomb is suspected to be the handiwork of Mossad. See here for more. Israel is declining comment.

A report in the Lebanese newspaper Ya Liban comments dryly:

An explosion rocked the Kferssouseh neighborhood in Damascus - near the Iranian school Tuesday evening

One person was killed as a result of the explosion .

No one declared responsibility .

The news about an explosion in Syria came as a big shock to many people in Lebanon. All the explosions for the past 3 years occurred in Lebanon and Syria was blamed for all of them . . .

And there is much more in a series of article in the Jerusalem Post about Mughniye's history of terrorism and his assassination. See here and here.


KG said...

This is wonderful news. The strikes on senior terrorists are beginning to take a real toll of their ability to attack the West.
They're rapidly losing their "institutional memory" and with it the ability to attack and execute sophisticated strikes.

KG said...

grrr..."ability to PLAN and execute" that should have been.

Dinah Lord said...

Doing the snoopy dance about this one!