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Friday, February 15, 2008

Was Mugniyah planning a terror attack in Egypt?

Kuwaiti newspapers reported yesterday that liquidated terrorist Imad Mugniyah was planning a massive terror attack in Arab countries at the time of his death:
A Kuwaiti newspaper reports that Hizbullah terrorist chief Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a car-bomb attack in Damascus on Tuesday, was in the midst of planning major terrorist attacks in moderate Arab countries when he was killed.

Al-Watan reports that American intelligence had learned that Mughniyeh arrived in Damascus three days earlier with instructions from, and in coordination with, the Iranians. His objective was to meet with Hizbullah leaders and coordinate a mass attack, for which he was to receive help from Syrian intelligence.

The American involvement in the killing is explained as being in retaliation for a recent car bomb attack that targeted a U.S. Embassy vehicle; three passersby. [What American involvement? CiJ

Another Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Siasa, reports that Mughniyeh took part, shortly before he was killed, in a secret meeting in the Iranian School in Damascus. Also participating in the meeting were Syrian Intelligence Chief Gen. Aisaf Shwackath, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, and an Islamic Jihad representative. On the agenda: planned attacks in Arab countries that refuse to take part in the coming Arab League summit in Damascus. The newspaper entertains the possibility that the meeting was merely a camouflage for Syrian involvement in Mughniyeh's killing.
The part I find most interesting is the participation of Khaled Mashaal and an Islamic Jihad representative. Neither Hamas nor Islamic Jihad has the resources to carry out terror attacks in too many Arab countries. They are only in place to carry out terror attacks in Gaza itself (why would they kill their own people), in Israel and in Egypt. Given that Egypt is on the verge of agreeing to reopen its borders with Gaza, I have to believe that Egypt is the target. And given Iranian participation in these meetings - whether through Mugniyah or otherwise - an attack on Egypt would be especially interesting in light of the supposed rapprochement between Egypt and Iran.

This also leads me to believe that Mugniyah's death may have had nothing to do with the terror attack he was planning. The Egyptians - if they knew about the planned attack - don't have the capability of pulling off an operation like Mugniyah's liquidation. I also doubt it was the Syrians who killed Mugniyah. That pretty much leaves us and the Americans. And I suppose that we (and the Americans) might have done it in return for Egyptian cooperation in shutting down the arms smuggling into Gaza. But we don't kiss and tell.


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