Continuing from my previous post, Mark Perry has a fascinating investigative report on the Foreign Policy website on Hizbullah Über-terrorist Imad Mughniyah, who got his just desserts in a quiet Damascus neighborhood on 12 Feb. ’08. I normally find Perry’s writings dodgy but this one is good. Among other things, he says that we don’t know who was responsible for Mughniyah’s killing, though rather strongly suggests that it may have been the Syrian regime itself. I suspected this myself from the outset—I didn’t believe the Israelis were responsible, as I doubted they were capable of pulling off such an operation in the heart of the Syrian capital—and said so to my (pro-Bashar) Palestinian-Syrian friend as we drove by the spot where Mughniyah met his end (see pics below). She concurred, saying that it smelled like an inside job.
Whatever the case, the world is not poorer with the eradication of Imad Mughniyah.
UPDATE: The Washington Post reports (January 30, 2015) that the CIA and Mossad together carried out the Mughniyah assassination. Well, how about that!
2nd UPDATE: The CIA-Mossad hit on Mughniyah is also detailed in Newsweek (January 31, 2015), though this account makes it out to be a mainly CIA operation, with the Mossad playing a support role. Whatever the case, if the WaPo and Newsweek accounts are more or less accurate—and I have no a priori reason to believe that they are not—then I will return to my original circumspection as to Mark Perry’s reporting.
3rd UPDATE: Matthew Levitt of WINEP has an article in Politico Magazine (February 9, 2015) on “Why the CIA killed Imad Mughniyeh.” The answer: “It was paying back a generation-old blood debt,” i.e. the CIA was exacting vengeance for Hizbullah’s April 1983 bombing of the US embassy in Beirut—which wiped out the CIA station there—and the kidnapping/murder of CIA station chief William Buckley the following year, both of which were planned by Mughniyah.