Imad Mughniyah, a powerful and influential senior member of Hezbollah who was responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against the United States and Israel, was killed on Feb. 12, 2008 in Damascus, Syria. As Mughniyah approached his car, a bomb planted in his SUV detonated, immediately ending his life.
New details emerging describe the involvement of the United States in the murder of Mughniyah. Until recently, no information has been released regarding the joint operation between the U.S. CIA and Israel’s Mossad, (the Israeli Intelligence Community).
A handful of former U.S. Intelligence officers have come forward to share their knowledge of the assassination. “We probably blew up 25 bombs to make sure we got it right,” a former intelligence officer tells the Washington Post. It is reported that the U.S. practiced details of the assassination at a CIA facility in North Carolina, the same facility where the U.S. built a replica of the Pakistani Osama Bin Laden compound. Bombs were built and detonated by U.S. Intel officers here in an attempt to predict the perfect outcome.
In addition to providing training and weapons to Shiite militias in Iraq that were targeting U.S. forces, Mughniyah was also suspected to have been involved in multiple terrorist attacks against Israel and the U.S. including: the 1983 bombing of U.S Embassy in Beirut which killed 63 people, the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks, the 1984 torture and killing of American CIA Lebanon Station Chief, the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847, the 1988 kidnapping and murder of Col. William Higgins, the 1992 suicide bombing of the Israeli Embassy, the 1994 attack on a Jewish community center which left 85 people dead, and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 U.S. servicemen, as reported by the Washington Post.
The ‘Okay’ for the U.S. CIA to participate in the killing of Mughniyah was provided by President George W. Bush, the attorney general, the director of national intelligence, the national security adviser and the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department, according to the Washington Post.
“The world is a better place without this man in it. He was a coldblooded killer, a mass murderer and a terrorist responsible for countless innocent lives lost,” the Washington Post reports State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said at the time of Mughniyah’s assassination.
Sources: Washington Post