WaPo: CIA and Mossad killed senior Hezb’Allah terrormaster in car bombing

This is a great story, and pulls back the curtain a bit on how Bush was fighting the jihad behind the scenes.

Expect the now-standard foot stomping and hand-wringing by the fifth column in America — the left. Already we are hearing that “Mughniyah was targeted in a country where the United States was not at war.”  But that is hardly true. Hezb’Allah had attacked the Marine barracks in Beirut and killed 299 American and French servicemen ( 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and three soldiers).

What concerns me is how Obama will try to make this up to Iran. Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that Netanyahu’s speech to Congress could hurt Obama’s groveling to Iran.

Mughnniyah was on the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists list, and was sought by the authorities in 42 other countries as well. Here are some of the major attacks Mughniyah was allegedly involved in:

Bombing of U.S. Embassy in Beirut, 1983: The suicide bombing of  the U.S. Embassy in Beirut killed 63 people, including eight CIA officers.

Torture and killing of CIA’s Lebanon station chief, 1984: Mughniyah was allegedly involved in the kidnapping and killing of William F. Buckley, the CIA station chief. Officials said Mughniyah sent videotapes of brutal interrogation sessions to the CIA before Buckley was killed.

Hijacking of TWA flight 847, 1985: A flight from Athens to Rome was hijacked by Hezbollah operatives. U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem was murdered and dozens of other passengers were held hostage for about two weeks.

Suicide bombing of Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, 1992: Four Israeli civilians and 25 Argentinians were killed in the 1994 attack on the embassy.

Bombing of Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, 1994: In the same city two years later, 85 people died. Most of the victims were Jewish.

Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, 1996: Mughniyah was also believed to be involved in this attack that killed 19 U.S. Air Force pilots and staff when a truck bomb blew up at the tower.

Role in training militias, 2006-2007: During one of the deadliest periods of the war in Iraq, Mughniyah was said to be involved in supplying and training Shiite militias who were responsible for killing and wounding hundreds of U.S. troops.

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“CIA and Mossad killed senior Hezbollah figure in car bombing,” By Adam Goldman and Ellen Nakashima,” Washington Post, January 30, 2015 (thanks to Van)

On Feb. 12, 2008, Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s international operations chief, walked on a quiet nighttime street in Damascus after dinner at a nearby restaurant. Not far away, a team of CIA spotters in the Syrian capital was tracking his movements.

As Mughniyah approached a parked SUV, a bomb planted in a spare tire on the back of the vehicle exploded, sending a burst of shrapnel across a tight radius. He was killed instantly.

The device was triggered remotely from Tel Aviv by agents with Mossad, the Israeli foreign intelligence service, who were in communication with the operatives on the ground in Damascus. “The way it was set up, the U.S. could object and call it off, but it could not execute,” said a former U.S. intelligence official.

The United States helped build the bomb, the former official said, and tested it repeatedly at a CIA facility in North Carolina to ensure the potential blast area was contained and would not result in collateral damage.

[Read: Who was Imad Mughniyah?]

“We probably blew up 25 bombs to make sure we got it right,” the former official said.

The extraordinarily close cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli intelligence services suggested the importance of the target — a man who over the years had been implicated in some of Hezbollah’s most spectacular terrorist attacks, including those against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and the Israeli Embassy in Argentina.

The United States has never acknowledged participation in the killing of Mughniyah, which Hezbollah blamed on Israel. Until now, there has been little detail about the joint operation by the CIA and Mossad to kill him, how the car bombing was planned or the exact U.S. role. With the exception of the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden, the mission marked one of the most high-risk covert actions by the United States in recent years.

U.S. involvement in the killing, which was confirmed by five former U.S. intelligence officials, also pushed American legal boundaries.

Mughniyah was targeted in a country where the United States was not at war. Moreover, he was killed in a car bombing, a technique that some legal scholars see as a violation of international laws that proscribe “killing by perfidy” — using treacherous means to kill or wound an enemy.

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