Itongadol.- Hezbollah sources told Arab media on Wednesday that the Lebanese Shi’ite organization planned to assassinate former prime minister Ehud Olmert as revenge for the death of arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh.
\’Hezbollah planned to assassinate Olmert as revenge for hit on arch-terrorist Mughniyeh\’
Wednesday editions of the London-based Al-Arabi al-Jadid quoted “political sources in close contact with Hezbollah” as saying that the plan was in place to target Olmert, who as prime minister oversaw the month-long Second Lebanon War that was fought between the IDF and the Shi’ite group.
According to the report, the Olmert assassination plot was foiled by Mohammed Shurba, an alleged Israeli operative who managed to infiltrate the upper echelons of Hezbollah. Shurba is also credited for thwarting an alleged Hezbollah plan to bomb the Israeli embassy in Azerbaijan in 2009.
There is no independent confirmation of this report.
Mughniyeh, who served as Hezbollah operations officer, was killed in a 2008 car-bombing in Damascus. According to a report in The Washington Post, the hit on Mughniyeh was the result of a joint Mossad-CIA operation. The killing of one of the world’s most wanted terrorists was widely attributed to Israel in the foreign media.
US involvement in the death of Mughniyeh was confirmed to the news outlet by five former US intelligence officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
According to the report, the CIA obtained the legal authority to kill the Hezbollah leader because it was able to prove that, “he was a continuing threat to Americans,” through his connection to the arming and training of Shi’ite militias in Iraq who were targeting and killing US forces.
Mughniyeh’s son, Jihad, was killed on January 18 in an air strike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights that has been attributed to Israel. Besides Mughniyeh, five other Hezbollah operatives and six Iranian Revolutionary Guards personnel, including a general, were killed in the attack.
Among other terrorist attacks against US citizens, Mughniyeh the father was linked to the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut that killed 63 people, and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US servicemen.
Mughniyeh was also implicated in the 1992 suicide bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people and the 1994 attack on the Jewish community center in the Argentinian capital, which killed 85.
The US and Israeli intelligence organizations worked together for months monitoring Mughniyeh in Damascus to determine where the bomb should be planted, according to the report.