The assassination in 2008 of the arch-terrorist father of the Hizbullah commander killed last week in Syria was a joint Mossad-CIA operation, according to a report in the The Washington Post on Friday.
The elimination of Imad Mughniyeh, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, was at the time attributed to Israel in the foreign media. But now it appears that the U.S. intelligence agency had a hand in it as well, as confirmed to the newspaper by five former American intelligence officials.
CIA involvement was justified on the grounds that “he was a continuing threat to Americans,” by dint of his participation in the arming and training of Shi’ite militias in Iraq who were killing U.S. soldiers stationed there.
The elaborately planned operation culminated on February 12, 2008, when Mughniyeh was killed, “on a quiet nighttime street in Damascus after eating dinner at a nearby restaurant… when a bomb planted in a spare tire on the back of his vehicle exploded.”
A team of CIA agents in Damascus had been following him, and Mossad agents in Tel Aviv detonated the bomb remotely, according to the report.
“The way it was set up, the U.S. could object and call it off, but it could not execute,” a former intelligence official recounted.