'Mossad killed Imad Mughniyeh'

'Sunday Times' report quotes Israeli sources; Barak: Syria, Iran may help Hizbullah in attacks abroad.

Imad Mughniyeh 224 88 (photo credit: FBI Website)
Imad Mughniyeh 224 88
(photo credit: FBI Website)
The Defense Ministry has been instructed to raise its alert level due to concerns that Hizbullah will target Israelis and Jews abroad with the aid of Iran and Syria in retaliation for the death of Hizbullah operations chief Imad Mughniyeh, Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced on Sunday. Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Barak said Mughniyeh was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians and soldiers over dozens of years in numerous countries worldwide. He estimated that it would take time for Hizbullah to replace him. Syria and Hizbullah still don't have a clear picture of who assassinated Mughniyeh, Barak went on, but that hasn't stopped Hizbullah from pointing an accusing finger at Israel. Earlier, London's Sunday Times reported that at the time of his assassination, allegedly carried out by the Mossad, Mughniyeh was cooperating with the Syrians in planning an attack against Israeli targets to avenge an IAF strike on a Syrian site in September 2007, according to "informed Israeli sources." The paper quoted "Israeli intelligence sources" as saying that Mossad agents had replaced the headrest of the driver's seat in Mughiyeh's SUV with another headrest containing a small cache of explosives. Israel, according to the Times report, believes that Mughniyeh was also charged with rehabilitating Hizbullah's arsenal after the blows it suffered during the Second Lebanon War. Mughniyeh allegedly rearmed the group with Iranian Fateh 110 rockets, which can reach Tel Aviv and, according to the report, may also be capable of delivering a chemical payload. According to a source quoted by the report, Mossad Chief Meir Dagan was summoned by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Jerusalem on the day after the assassination, where he was "complimented by his boss" on a job well done and told that his contract at the helm of the intelligence agency would be extended through the end of 2009.