Read an outstanding article in Foreign Policy on the subject and tweeted the “news” the other day. I missed the news the first time around, and learned I wasn’t the only one, so I thought SOFREP readers might also be interested.
Imad Mughniyeh (aka “Muggie) is arguably the 2nd most lethal terrorist in our history. This Iranian proxy dirt bag was responsible for the bombings of the ’83 US Beirut Embassy (63 killed, including Robert Ames, CIA’s Near East division chief), and months later the bombing that killed 241 Marines (and 58 French troops). The CIA later learned he planned these “ops” in the Iranian Embassy in Syria. He hijacked a TWA airliner in ’85. Beat Robert Stethem, a Navy diver, to death, and dumped his body unceremoniously out the airplane door to plummet to the tarmac. He also kidnapped a bunch of western hostages in the ‘80’s, including William F. Buckley (CIA Beirut station chief in ‘84), USMC LTC William R. Higgins in ‘88 (who was on peacekeeping duty), and Terry Anderson in ’85 (held for six years).
Most know about the hijacking and bombings, but “Muggie” really shined when it came to the treatment of Buckley and Higgins. Both Buckley and Higgins were TORTURED. No, not water boarded, slapped around or made to stand for a couple of hours. I emphasize here so you can knowledgeably speak to the next dimwit that equates enhanced interrogation techniques with TORTURE.
The CIA received videos showcasing both men’s treatment. Higgins’ video showed a badly beaten, sunken eyed, barefoot body hanging from a rope. (You can see excerpts in the video below.) Bruising around the neck suggested an earlier strangulation. The video was sent with a typewritten letter calling the murder an “opening gift” to the US and Israel.
Buckley’s videos were exponentially worse. “The absence of sound made it all the more shocking. The camera zoomed in and out of Buckley’s nude and damaged body. He held before his genitalia a document marked “MOST SECRET.” CIA Director Casey later remembered how “I was close to tears. It was the most obscene thing I had ever witnessed. Bill was barely recognizable as the man I had known for years. They had done more than ruin his body. His eyes made it clear his mind had been played with. It was horrific, mediaeval and barbarous.” There were two more videos, each worse than the preceding, eventually showing a drugged, shaking, screaming wretch.
Imad Mughniyeh also planned the Israeli Embassy attack in Argentina in ’92, and the ’94 Buenos Aires synagogue bombing. He survived as long as he did because of tight operational security and a tightly controlled personae not courting publicity. There were no pictures of “Muggie,” and Terry Anderson was likely one of the few individuals to see the man. “Muggie” went as far as to portray himself as a chauffeur for the Iranian embassy.
On 12 Feb 2008, after leaving a late night meeting with Iran’s new ambassador to Syria, he walked behind his SUV to get to the driver’s door. The remote explosion that dumped his body 15 feet away permanently revoked his license to drive and kill. There are a lot of suspects. We, the Israelis, and even the Syrians, had reasons to wish “Muggie” an all-expenses paid trip to the place all terrorists go. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy…
(Featured Image Courtesy: haaretz.com)