Saturday, May 23, 2009

Der Spiegel

The German newspaper Der Spiegel is reporting that Hizbullah and not the Syrian government is behind the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Ministerial candidate Rafik Hariri. The article makes the claim that an arm of Hizbullah led at one time by Imad Mughniyah was responsible for the car bomb which killed Hariri and several others. Mughniyah himself was assassinated February 12, 2008.

The article claims this information comes from "sources close to the tribunal" and "internal documents." This description is extremely inconclusive. Additionally, the alibi given is that Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah became jealous of Hariri's popularity. This seems dubious considering that Hizbullah wields a significant amount of power compared to the Lebanese government. Additionally, the article fails to take into account Syria's almost immediate withdrawal from Lebanon after almost 30 years of occupation following the assassination. And even if Hizbullah were responsible, Syria may still bear some responsibility considering its role in weapons trafficking to Hizbullah from Iran. However the article makes little mention of the conventional thinking on Syria's role in the assassination, and is therefore not transparent enough of an analysis to consider conclusive.



Sources:

Erich Follath, "New Evidence Points to Hizbullah in Hariri Murder,"
Der Spiegel, May 23, 2009.

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