Note - portions of this are plagiarized from my article at Israel News: Death of a terrorist: Top Hezbullah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh killed in Damascus blast
Death of a "militant!"
According to Wikipedia,
Imad Fayez Mugniyah (also spelt Moughnieh) (... born December 7, 1962, killed Feb 12, 2008 was a senior member of the Hezbollah militant organization. He is alternatively described as the head of its security section, a senior intelligence official and as a founder of the organization.
So it seems that Mr. Mughnieh was a "militant" - like sufragettes and the Salvation Army. Moughniyeh believed in blowing people up and kidnapping them - that was his religion and his ideology.
Imad Mughniyeh (pronounced Mourrniyeh, spelled Moughnieh, Mugnieh...) was one of the worst "militants" (as Wikipedia calls them) to walk the face of the earth. He was responsible for involuntarilty shortening the lifespans of numerous people, including Jews in Argentina and US marines and embassy personnel in Lebanon. Israelis believe he was responsible, under the direction of Iran, for the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers that ignited the Second Lebanon war. He was perhaps involved in some way in the murder of Rafiq Hariri and other internal Lebanese political efforts.
Israeli covert operations teams have refrained from hurting Moughnieh because of his esulivesness and the fear that Hezbollah teams based in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, and elsewhere in Argentina, or Hezbollah in Lebanon, would take revenge as they took revenge for the killing of another senior Hezbollah
terrorist (sorry - MILITANT) when they hit the Jewish center in Argentina.
Moughnieh has a distinguished record as a
terrorist (ooops - MILITANT) He is known to have been the mastermind behind the attacks against Jewish centers in Buenos Aires in1994, as well as the kidnapping of a TWA airplane in Lebanon in 1985 and the abduction of westerners in the country during the 1980s. Moughnieh was also most likely the man behind the bombing at the American embassy in Beirut in and the attack against the Marine headquarters in Lebanon in 1983, which killed over 200 Americans, as well as kidnappings of Americans in the 80s, and more recently, the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers that ignited the Lebanese war. He had a rich career as a "militant." The earlier "militant" activities were apparently directed by Ali Akbar Mohstashemi Pour, who was Iranian ambassador to Syria in the 80s.
Today Moughniyeh has died, or perhaps it was yesterday. It appears that someone has decided to send Moughnieh to his reward. His career was terminated in a car bomb blast, a characteristic tool of Syrian army intelligence, though others have used it. Israeli PM Ehud Olmert denied involvement in the killing of Moughiyeh. It is unlikely to have been Israel, though Hezbollah automatically blamed Israel of course. It is stretches the imagination to believe that Israel has covert operations abilities of that kind in Damascus, under the watchful eyes of the Syrian Mukhabarat (secret police) and Syrian army intelligence. If they did, they would focus on other more urgent targets such as Khaled Meshal who heads the Hamas, or Ramadan Shelah who heads the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Another report about the demise of Moughniyeh is here.
Is Israel really trying to send a message, or did the Syrian Army Intelligence decide that Moughnieh had outlived his usefulness? Perhaps he knew too much about the murder of Rafiq Hariri?
Terror groupies and humanitarians who mourn this "militant" should understant precisely who he was. From Ronen Bergman's book, "Point of No Return", 2007, pages 159 ff. in Hebrew:
"In another time and another place and with a different childhood. Imad Moughiyeh would have set up a start up," smiles "The Major." "We are talking about one of the most creative and brilliant minds I have encountered. A man of deep understanding, excellent technical grasp and leadership abilities. Unfortunately, the mix of personal and geopolitical circumstances led him to channel these excellent talents to the path of destruction and blood and to turn him into a very dangerous enemy." During a part of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s Major David Barrkai ("The Major" as Lebanese call him), who later became a senior partner in a start up, headed the the large northern base of Unit 504, the Israel Army Intelligence (AMAN) base that operated agents of AMAN, and he was in charge, inter alia, of the Moughniyeh file.
Many in Israel and the world have since been involved in understanding the image of the man called "the Iranian Carlos," the most serious competitor of Osama Bin Laden for the title of most dangerous terrorist in the world. Numberless hours were spent by Barkai and his men on Moughnieh. That was, and remains, a fascinating battle of the minds, extremely sly and cruel. Despite localized victories in data collection and terror prevention by Barkai and his colleagues, Moughnieh won the war. He is still out there, working and kicking, and Israel and the United States have been unable to stop his inspired and bloody activities. On the 12 of July 2006 he began a war in the Middle East, when he stood behind the kidnapping of Israeli reserve soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. Moughnieh wis a stealth bomber. At any given time Israel had several conflicting reports about his whereabouts and activities. In London, a person connected to British intelligence admitted embarrassment, over the fact that despite the great interest that the United Kingdom has in "Mr Moughnieh," they have no idea where he is and what exactly he is planning.
"The use of the terror weapon against Israel is rare and informed by consciousness of the severe political damage that could be done to Iran if its involvement is exposed," according to a secret intelligence report of the AMAN research division. "Therefore Iran generally refrains from carrying out direct terror attacks, and its involvement in carrying out these attacks is expressed in a roundabout way." That "roundabout way," according to the intelligence report, passes through Imad Moughnieh.
Imad Moughnieh was born on the 12 of July 1962 in the village of Tir Daba in South Lebanon, 15 KM from Tyre....
At the end of the 70s, after dropping out of high school, Moughnieh joined the Fatah and underwent a series of trainings in guerrilla warfare. Later he joined Unit 17, the Fatah security unit, and was among the bodyguards of Salah Khalef (Abu Iyyad). In that period he conducted a totally secular lifestyle. In 1982, when the PLO was planning to evacuate Beirut, Moughniyeh and many other Shi'a, including his brothers Fuad and Jihad, to stay in Lebanon. They joined the Al Dawah organization, one of many little groups that were somewhat later sucked in to the Hezbollah.
In 1983, during a wave of suicide bombings against American, French and Israeli targets that was planned by Moughnieh, he found time to marry his cousin, Saada Badr A-din. Their daughter, Fatima, was born on August 2, 1984, and their son, Mustapha, was born on January 7, 1987.
As opposed to other young Hezbollah leaders like Abbas Mousawi, Subhi Toufeili or Hassan Nassrallah, Moughnieh was not a religious authority or a man with political influence. He was always though of as the operations man, the single mind behind the daring exploits of the organization. At the beginning of its road, the young organization was very much in need of the terror leadership of this man.
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Replies: 3 Comments
I would not take bets on who did it. Moughnieh is a common name, but they are probably all related at least distantly I would think.
Ami Isseroff, Sunday, February 17th
If Moughnieh had been dispatched by way of a bomb being dropped on him by the IDF, I'd buy Israeli culpability, but being blown up in his car on turf clearly controlled by Syrian authorities makes that dubious.
I am, however, curious about how common a surname Moughnieh is, as it is the surname of the wife of one of Canada's Arab citizens, Maher Arar, who was sent to detention in Syria by US agents and subjected to torture there by Syrian government agents and is suing the Canadian government for millions in compensation as he was apprehended by US authorities based on information supplied by Canadian security services.
Lynne T, Sunday, February 17th
Ariel, Saturday, February 16th
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