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A Top Hezbollah Terrorist Dead; Another Lebanese Leader Assassinated

Wednesday, February 13, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Though not as widely known as bin Laden or Zawahiri, Imad Mughiniyah was among the most senior and ruthless of terrorists at large in the world, and more dangerous than most as he was assisted by states such as Syria and Iran. From Haaretz:

Hezbollah said Wednesday its Deputy Secretary General Imad Mughniyah was killed Tuesday evening in a bomb blast in a residential neighborhood of Damascus, accusing Israel of being behind the explosion.

“With all pride we declare a great jihadist leader of the Islamic resistance in Lebanon joining the martyrs … The brother commander hajj Imad Mughinyah became a martyr at the hands of the Zionist Israelis,” said a statement carried on Hezbollah’s television.

The Prime Minister’s Office initially declined comment, but later issued a statement denying Israeli involvement. “Israel rejects the attempt by terror groups to attribute to it any involvement in this incident,” read the statement. “We have nothing further to add.”

Read the whole thing. How bad was he?

He was wanted for the bombings of the Israeli embassy and the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994, as well as a wave of abductions of Westerns in Lebanon in the 1980s.

He was also responsible for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA passenger jet, and the murder of a soldier in the U.S. navy.

Mughniyah lived a highly secretive life, constantly moving between states like Lebanon, Iran, and Syria.

Reaction from Israel? One headline: Hezbollah Terror Chief More Wanted Than Nasrallah. The story begins:

If there is a definition for the term “the snake’s head,” it is Imad Mughniyah, who started his terrorist activities as a militant with Fatah, and joined Hezbollah afterwards with the establishment of the Shi’ite organization.

If Israel is behind this act, it can be seen as the most significant intelligence accomplishment in the war on terror, coming before the assasination of Fathi Shikaki, leader of the Islamic Jihad in 1995.

More reaction from Israel:

Former Mossad chief Danny Yatom on Wednesday welcomed the death of Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Imad Mughniyah in a bomb blast in Damascus, calling it “a great achievement for the free world in its fight on terror.”

“Mughniyah was one of the most dangerous and cruel terrorists of all time,” said the Labor MK. “There are numerous intelligence agencies and countries that have been pursuing him, and the one that was successful in reaching him [has proven itself] – to have a high intelligence and operational capability.”

PowderTracks has even more links.

But not all the news is bad for the Islamists of Hezbollah. The almost certainly Syrian-sponsored terrorists aiming to overthrow the democratically elected government in Lebanon killed a senior Lebanese Army general this week as the forces of freedom in Lebanon take another blow even as one of their greatest enemies is removed.

The war against radical Islamists is ongoing and brutal though largely ignored by the Democratic presidential candidates. See if either Senator Obama or Clinton comments on either of these killings today.

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