'Israeli sources': We killed Mughniyah, not the CIA
Who carried out the bombing in the video above? Seven years later, the denials have toned down, and there are now claims of credit. Two weeks ago, the Obama administration 'anonymously' told the Washington Post that the CIA was behind the Mugniyah assassination. That has apparently ruffled some feathers in the Mossad, who got word to Dan Raviv that it was really behind the terrorist's death.
One result was that some of those Israelis - apparently miffed that the Americans were taking too much credit - went to the trouble of speaking with Western officials and diplomats to offer corrections.
Basically, using a phrase inspired by the blue-and-white flag of Israel, they suggested that the assassination of Mughniyeh was "almost all blue-and-white, and just a little bit red-white-and-blue."
Based on what they told their Western contacts this month, the Israelis claim that their Mossad and Aman (military intelligence) agencies managed to pick up the trail of the elusive terrorist - despite plastic surgery that changed his appearance. His biggest mistake was moving around Damascus without bodyguards, and specifically an unguarded area in front of his apartment building in the Syrian capital.
Contrary to the recent reports, the Israelis claim to have designed and tested the bomb, while respecting the CIA's insistence that it not be too large so as not to kill any innocents.
According to this version, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert kept track of the testing and - during a trip to Washington - even showed some of the videos to George W. Bush, who was impressed and enthusiastic about eliminating Mughniyeh. The CIA had briefly withdrawn from the mission, but President Bush brought the agency back in.
On the night of the assassination seven years ago this week, the surveillance team in Damascus held off when noticing that Mughniyeh was not alone. He headed into his apartment with his Iranian handler and a Syrian general, Muhammad Suleiman, who was a senior advisor to President Bashar al-Assad.
The Iranian and the Syrian left, and half an hour later the Hezbollah man walked out alone. The button was pushed at Mossad headquarters - a privilege Israel wanted, because Mughniyeh had killed dozens of Israelis and other Jews in car bomb attacks - and the terrorist was blown to bits. No one else was hurt.
Assad's aide, General Suleiman, was assassinated less than six months later by a long-range sniper. Intelligence sources said Israel did that because Suleiman had been in charge of Syria's secret nuclear reactor, which Israel's air force had destroyed the year before.Heh.
According to the Israeli version of events, Vice President Dick Cheney phoned Prime Minister Olmert to exchange praise for the Mughniyeh assassination.