A lot of “whodunit” speculation is going around as to who really was responsible for the assassination of senior Hezbollah member and arch terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who was taken out last Tuesday evening by a bomb planted in his Pajero SUV in central Damascus. Mughniyeh’s followers, in the Hezbollah immediately pointed their fingers at Israel, with Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah declaring that his organization is declaring “open warfare” against Israelis and Jews everywhere in world. Naturally, this threat has set alarm bells ringing in both the Israeli government and military, with strict warnings being issued to overseas Israeli diplomatic missions, as well as to Israelis planning either business or pleasure trips abroad; especially to Muslim and Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan.
Responsibility for Mughniyeh’s death has been denied by Israel, and so far American government spokespersons have also denied involvement. This could mean, therefore, that perhaps the man who has been referred to as the world’s most feared terrorist since Carlos the Jackal, may have been taken out by those a lot closer to home. Consider the following, especially after the double spectacles Thursday of the terrorist being laid to rest in south Beirut, and the commemoration of the third anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Why these two events need to be analyzed for their relevance to each other is that:
1. Both events occurred on the same day.
2. Only an estimated 10,000 people, most of them militia members, showed up for Mughniyeh’s funeral.
3. Close to 100,000 were present at the rally for Hariri. This large number represented Lebanese from all parts of the religious and political spectrum, many of whom had been active in the demonstrations following Hariri’s death that resulted in Syria pulling its troops out of Lebanon, ending a 25 year presence.
Ten thousand against 100,000; that’s a big difference and seems to indicate that except in Hezbollah’s strongholds in south Beirut and southern Lebanon, a great number of Lebanese are interested in a better future for their country. This future seems to be desired without the likes of groups such as Hezbollah; whom many in Lebanon consider to be a nothing more than proxies of Iran.
For this reason, it is evident that Mr. Mughniyeh had many enemies within Lebanon as well as outside of the country. It was revealed that he had only recently arrived in Damascus, after entering Syria on a fake passport. He may have been on the run from Lebanon following a series of bombings that he could have been responsible for.
Taking this and other possibilities into account, Imad Mughniyeh’s assassination may very well have been the result of his deeds simply catching up with him; not only from countries where many of these acts were carried out, but from members of his own countrymen as well. Perhaps even some of his fellow Hezbollah party members, including Sheikh Nasrallah himself, decided that it was simply time for Mughniyeh to go. Whatever the reason; good riddance.