Green Room

Feelgood story of the day: How Mossad iced the world’s most dangerous terrorist

posted at 1:06 pm on February 12, 2013 by

It took five years for the details to surface, but it was worth the wait. When Mughniyeh was killed in 2008, news reports claimed it was done via an exploding car-seat headrest. I always wondered how Mossad managed to get into his vehicle and wire the seat without him or anyone else finding out. Mystery solved: They didn’t.

It’s believed that a squad consisting of four members was assigned to the operation. One member was charged with tracking the target while remaining in constant communication with command and the safe houses. Another member was responsible for arranging transportation and logistics inside Damascus. The third member was tasked with “cover” — monitoring potential and emerging threats to the operation and, if necessary, creating a diversion. The last member was the executioner.

Out of the safe houses, agents monitored the Iranian Cultural Centre and every place Mughniyah was believed likely to visit. The Damascus safe house had a large garage for wiring vehicles with remotely controlled explosives and altering their appearance, as well as installing mobile command, control and communication equipment. Fake IDs, changes of clothes and plenty of weapons were stashed there, as well, in case anything went wrong. Days before the assassination, Mossad obtained priority access to a recently launched Israeli satellite. State of the art, it was capable of feeding the strike team real-time intelligence 24 hours a day.

The strike team took up positions outside the Iranian Cultural Centre in Damascus, waiting for Mughniyah. At the same time, a few rented vehicles with remote controlled explosives placed inside headrests were parked, at intervals, along the street. Guests began to arrive at 7:30 p.m., with the Iranian ambassador himself arriving at 8. At 9 p.m., a silver Mitsubishi Pajero turned into the street and parked close to where two strike team members were waiting. For a moment the driver and his passenger sat checking the street. Then the passenger door opened and Imad Mughniyah emerged. He wore a dark suit and his beard had been neatly trimmed. He started to walk up the street, passing one of the cars the Israelis had planted there. It exploded, beheading Mughniyah.

That’s only half the story; the other half is how hard it was to find him despite his global notoriety. It took 10 years to get Bin Laden; it took 15 to get Eichmann; it took 25 to get Mughniyeh.

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Ha! I love dead terrorists stories. :)

Blake on February 12, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Ha! I love dead terrorists stories.

Blake on February 12, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Yep. Warms the heart.

Bitter Clinger on February 12, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Boil in flaming pig’s blood for all eternity.

MelonCollie on February 12, 2013 at 1:24 PM


Jabberwock on February 12, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Maybe I’ll read this to my son as a bedtime story tonight. :) (He’s 18 and will appreciate it.)

GWB on February 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Ha! I love dead terrorists stories.

Blake on February 12, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Especially headless terrorists.

sharrukin on February 12, 2013 at 1:29 PM

It came from one of the operatives of the Ali al-Jarrah network, operated by Mossad. Al-Jarrah himself had been recruited while serving time in an Israeli prison, and his cousin Ziad Jarrah was the hijacker pilot of United Airlines Flight 93. His terrorist credentials were impeccable, which made him the perfect Israeli agent. Ali and his brother Yusuf photographed Hezbollah supply routes and travelled extensively in the region, collecting information on Hezbollah activities in south Lebanon. All of this information he passed back to Israel, collecting perhaps as much as $500,000 for his services.

Did they just out this guy, or was he already known as a Mossad operative?

TexasDan on February 12, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Oh – reads like a Gabriel Allon operation.

So feelgood.

ChicagoBlue on February 12, 2013 at 1:52 PM

A day in the life…”He blew his mind out in a car…” h/t Beatles

DanMan on February 12, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Ha! I love dead terrorists stories.

Blake on February 12, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Yep. Warms the heart.

Bitter Clinger on February 12, 2013 at 1:20 PM

And other vital organs of unsuspecting dying terrorists.

Steve Eggleston on February 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Who claims movie rights? What, doesn’t follow the liberal meme? Too bad. Love these stories when true. We don’t need no stinkin’ movie distorting the truth under the guise of “artisic license”.

jake49 on February 12, 2013 at 4:16 PM

When I had heard that they got this guy by detonating an explosive-laden headrest thereby decapitating him, I thought the guy was sitting in the car seat when the headrest blew and not walking past the car. Oh well. Either way… still makes for a great children’s bedtime story.

Is there a children’s coloring book in the works that I can look forward to buying for my nieces and nephews? Anybody know?

Mahdi on February 12, 2013 at 4:24 PM

When he woke up, I’ll bet it wasn’t to 72 virgins, but Satan dunking him back under in the puke and lava pot.

itsspideyman on February 12, 2013 at 4:32 PM

We should’ve taken a lesson from the Israeli’s post 9/11. A slow, methodical, cold-blooded stalk/killing of everyone associated with Bin Laden, the hijackers, their families, anyone they ever shook hands with. And yes… air power too.

Instead we kicked not one but two f–king tar babies at the same time, wasted trillions of dollars, thousands of American lives, and ended up with Barack Hussein Obama in the Whitehouse for our efforts.

Way to go, Dubya. Way to go.

SAMinVA on February 12, 2013 at 4:32 PM

A day in the life…”He blew his mind out in a car…” h/t Beatles

Bet he didn’t notice that the lights had changed….

itsspideyman on February 12, 2013 at 4:34 PM