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Another Arch Terrorist Bites the Dust

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The level of evil in the world experienced a dip today, with the demise of arch Hizbullah terrorist Imad “Meshugana” Mugniyah.

A man so evil, that even he worms are likely to stay away from his decaying body.

imad.jpgA Hezbollah commander suspected in some of the deadliest terrorist attacks of the last 25 years and a reputed role model for Osama bin Laden has been killed in Syria, Hezbollah TV said Wednesday.

The FBI listed militant Imad Mughniyeh as one of its Most Wanted Terrorists.

Imad Mughniyeh died in an explosion in a residential section of the Syrian capital, Damascus, said Hezbollah’s television station, Al-Manar.

Hezbollah blamed Israel for Mughniyeh’s death, but Israeli officials denied involvement.

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Intelligence sources described Mughniyeh as one of the craftiest and deadliest terrorists in the world who managed to elude capture for decades by changing his appearance and covering his footsteps.

Western intelligence agencies long suspected Mughniyeh in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 63 people, according to a 2001 CNN report. He also was suspected in the truck bombing that year of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, an attack that killed 241 people and preceded the U.S. military withdrawal from Lebanon.

Before the September 11 terrorist attacks, U.S. officials had blamed Mughniyeh for the deaths of more Americans around the world than any other terror suspect, CNN reported in 2001. A month after the attacks in the U.S., the FBI debuted its Most Wanted Terrorists list with Mughniyeh on it.

Mughniyeh was not suspected of involvement in 9/11, but he was a role model for bin Laden, who used the 1983 Marine barracks bombing as a standard, CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen said.

“Because if you think about the attack, pretty much immediately afterward President Reagan ordered the United States out of Lebanon, and so that’s the model bin Laden wanted to implement everywhere — attack the United States in places like Yemen or in Kenya, or in Tanzania, or even the United States itself, and it will pull out of the Middle East,” Bergen said.

Authorities blamed Mughniyeh for the June 14, 1985, hijacking of TWA Flight 847, which gripped the attention of TV viewers around the world for more than two weeks.

Hijackers seized the plane as it traveled from Athens, Greece, to Rome, Italy, forcing it to land at the Beirut airport. U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem was shot and killed during the 17-day ordeal.

Kurt Carlson, a TWA 847 passenger who was badly beaten, recalled that Mughniyeh “looked like really a fanatic.”

“As he talked about Israel, the tone of his voice kept rising, until finally he was just screaming and his eyes were glassy, and we didn’t know what he was going to do,” Carlson said. “I mean, I thought he was just going to pull out a gun and start shooting.”

Flight 847 may have been the one careless move that the man in the shadows made. Mughniyeh reportedly left a fingerprint on the plane, gaining him a place on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list with a $5 million bounty on his head.

Western intelligence agencies also suspected Mughniyeh in the early ’90s bombings of the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish cultural center in Argentina that killed 119 people and the kidnapping of Western hostages — two of whom were killed — in Lebanon in the 1980s.

Israel had come close to finding Mughniyeh before and killing him, said Yossi Melman, an intelligence reporter for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. In 1992, intelligence agents tracked him and his brother to a Beirut garage.

“They shadowed his brother and planted the bomb in the garage, knowing that Imad Mughniyeh would arrive there, but he was late and the bomb exploded and the brother was killed. Probably they missed him by a few minutes,” Melman said.

A former head of Israel’s intelligence agency said Mughniyeh’s unseen hand apparently struck the first blow in the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, a militant group based in Lebanon that seeks to establish a fundamentalist Muslim state.

Former Mossad chief Danny Yaton said Mughniyeh appeared to be responsible for the attack that killed eight Israeli soldiers and the abduction of two others, triggering Israel Defense Forces operations in Lebanon.

U.S. authorities tried to seize Mughniyeh on at least two occasions — in France in 1986 and in Saudi Arabia in 1995, CNN reported.

Former CIA officer Robert Baer said Mughniyeh was “head and shoulders above any other terrorist in the world.”

Of course, it helped that he learned from one of the vilest creatures in human history.

Palestinian militants recruited him as a teenager, and he eventually was in Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s elite guard.

It is unclear who killed him, but Hizbullah, Syria, and Iran are blaming Israel. For our part, we have denied responsibility. Whether or not we were actually behind it is anyone’s guess. What is more certain is that Hizbullah are going to start up with us again, under the pretext that we killed their lovable commander. The only question is when.

Updates (Israel time)

6:40PM: Imad Mugniyah: arch terrorist, Hizbullah commander.. result of inbreeding?

inbred.jpg

The grandfather of Imad Mughniyeh, right, mourns as he stands next to Fayez, Imad’s father, left, during condolences for Mughniyeh’s death, in the Shiite suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday. Photo: AP

6:56PM: The Arab world’s reaction to his demise should tell you a lot about their supposed desire for peace.

7:00PM: In a shocking (!) development, the palestinians are threatening revenge.

Palestinian resistance factions condemned the killing of senior Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyya on Wednesday, blaming Israel for the assassination. They also threatened to retaliate for the killing, which they called a “crime.”

“The occupation is completely responsible for this crime backed by the US administration,” Islamic Jihad leader Khalid Al-Batsh said. He urged Palestinian military groups to deter Israeli attacks and stop their criminal acts by any means.

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Fatah’s armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Brigades, threatened to undertake retaliation for the assassination. A Fatah leader accused Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak of being behind the assassination. He said, “He has come anew and assassinated Mughniyya as he did with [Al-Aqsa Brigades leader] Khalil Al-Wazir before.”

7:02PM: Israeli embassies and institutions abroad have been ordered to raise their level of alert.

8:50PM: Judeopundit notes that this image on the Ramattan news site might be hacked. Methinks it has been.

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Break out the bubbly!

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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