It seems CIA link ‘will hurt Hizbollah morale’

February 2, 2015 4:58 pm

US officials have confirmed the CIA helped plan the car bomb killing of Imad Mughniyeh, pictured right, in 2008. Photo / AP

The timing of media reports confirming the involvement of the CIA and
Mossad in a plot to assassinate Hizbollah’s second-in-command Imad
Mughniyeh in 2008 are likely to have a greater impact than the
revelations themselves, Lebanese analysts said.
“Hizbollah has
always been aware that the CIA does also engage in monitoring,
surveillance and assassinations,” Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a Lebanese analyst
seen as close to Hizbollah, said.
At least five US intelligence
officials last weekend confirmed the details of a meticulously planned
plot in 2008 to assassinate Mughniyeh, believed to be behind several
high profile attacks including the US Embassy bombings in 1983.
Previously it was believed that just Israel was behind the attack.
Details, revealed in both the Washington Post and Newsweek,
included the fact that the bomb, which was planted in a spare tyre at
the back of Mughniyeh’s car, was tested 25 times, partly to ensure there
was no collateral damage. CIA operatives provided intelligence, but the
bomb was triggered remotely by Tel Aviv.

“The way it was set up, the US could object and call it off,
but it could not execute,” a US intelligence official was quoted as
saying in the Washington Post report.
The details have coincided
with increased Hizbollah activity, Saad-Ghorayeb said. Hizbollah
retaliated last week to an apparent Israeli attack which killed six
members of Hizbollah, with a missile strike which killed two soldiers.
The
may undermine the morale boost gained by Hizbollah’s attack, says
Imad Salamey, a professor of politics in Beirut. The message is: “You
retaliated this time, what are you going to do now the US is part of a
previous attack against your leaders?”

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