Death of a Hizbullah Warlord

[Los Angeles Times] Borzou Daragahi and Sebastian Rotella - Western security forces spent 25 years pursuing Hizbullah warlord Imad Mughniyeh, a pioneer of brutal tactics later emulated by al-Qaeda. He oversaw foreign networks that he built after his terrorism campaign in Lebanon, including the 1983 bombings of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks. His cells carried out operations in France and Argentina, where two car bombings of Jewish targets left more than 100 dead. He also met in Sudan in the early 1990s with Osama bin Laden, whose militants got explosives training from Hizbullah experts. On the evening of Feb. 12, 2008, he left a safe house in Damascus. He had just held a sit-down with a Syrian spy chief and was preparing for a secret meeting that night with President Bashar Assad, Western anti-terrorism officials say. Seconds after Mughniyeh got behind the wheel of his sport utility vehicle, an explosion incinerated him. Mughniyeh's duties included aiding Palestinian militant groups with training and arms procurement, and running security for Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. On May 13, 2006, he met in Lebanon with Hassan Zarkani, a representative of Iraqi Shiite strongman Muqtada Sadr, and agreed to provide smuggled anti-tank missiles to Iraqi fighters and train them in their use. But his prime obsession was the destruction of Israel.

2008-09-03 01:00:00

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