Wednesday, January 31, 2007
New Fears: The Return of a Superterrorist (Most Dangerous Besides Osama = MUGNIYAH)
Feb. 5, 2007 issue - Before Osama bin Laden, there was Imad Mughniyeh. The Lebanese terrorist from Hizbullah was considered the most dangerous in the world. Now the White House worries that he's back, after years of lying low. Four serving U.S. intel and counterterrorism officials, anonymous when discussing sensitive material, said Mughniyeh is prominent in recent reporting from the field about Hizbullah activity. Bruce Riedel, a veteran Mideast expert recently retired from the CIA, told NEWSWEEK there is "no question he is heavily involved in [formulating] terrorist contingency plans in case of a U.S.-Iran confrontation."
Mughniyeh has the résumé to be a potent threat. He was the alleged organizer of a series of devastating bombings and kidnappings against U.S. targets in Lebanon during the 1980s, including two bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. But Hizbullah later made a strategic decision to abandon attacks on American targets. Even now, U.S. intel officials stress that they don't believe Hizbullah will actually hit U.S. interests unless Washington strikes first—against either the movement or its key patron, Tehran.
So what is Mughniyeh up to? Two of the U.S. officials interviewed by NEWSWEEK said field reports indicate that he travels between Beirut, Damascus and Tehran. One official said that some reports also suggest he has visited Baghdad. (Hizbullah has allegedly been involved in training the Mahdi Army militia of Moqtada al-Sadr.) (EXCERPT...)
(Excerpt) Read more at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16841987/site/newsweek/ ...