The Search for Hizbullah's Imad Mughniyeh

(The Hill) Matthew Levitt - On Feb. 12, 2008, American and Israeli spies killed Hizbullah master terrorist Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus, who had evaded them on several previous occasions. In November 1985, officials in Paris intercepted a voice frequency sample of Mughniyeh, who was traveling under a false identity and was tracked to a luxury hotel just around the corner from the U.S. embassy. The CIA provided French officials with a copy of the passport he was using. Instead of detaining him, French intelligence officials reportedly met Mughniyeh several times over a six-day period and allowed him to leave the country in return for the release of a French hostage. In 1995, intelligence indicated that Mughniyeh was traveling under an assumed name on a flight from Khartoum to Tehran that was scheduled to make a stop in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. American officials asked their Saudi counterparts to detain Mughniyeh, which they did not. The writer is director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2015-02-05 00:00:00

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