Former prime minister Ehud Olmert (R) and late Hezbollah arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hezbollah sources told Arab media on Wednesday that the Lebanese Shi’ite organization planned to assassinate former prime minister Ehud Olmert in revenge for the killing of arch-terrorist Imad 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 between the IDF and the Shi’ite terrorist group.
According to the report, the Olmert assassination plot was foiled by Muhammad 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’s operations chief, 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 by 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 legal authority to kill the Hezbollah leader, because it was able to prove that “he was a continuing threat to Americans” through his arming and training of Shi’ite militias in Iraq that were targeting 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 Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 servicemen and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US soldiers.
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 Argentinean 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.