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Who did it? Foreign Report presents an alternative
view

Israels military intelligence service, Aman, suspects
that Iraq is the state that sponsored the suicide
attacks on the New York Trade Center and the Pentagon
in Washington. Directing the mission, Aman officers
believe, were two of the worlds foremost terrorist
masterminds: the Lebanese Imad Mughniyeh, head of the
special overseas operations for Hizbullah, and the
Egyptian Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri, senior member of
Al-Qaeda and possible successor of the ailing Osama
Bin Laden.

The two men have not been seen for some time.
Mughniyeh is probably the worlds most wanted outlaw.
Unconfirmed reports in Beirut say he has undergone
plastic surgery and is unrecognisable. Zawahiri is
thought to be based in Egypt. He could be Bin Ladens
chief representative outside Afghanistan.

The Iraqis, who for several years paid smaller groups
to do their dirty work, were quick to discover the
advantages of Al-Qaeda. The Israeli sources claim that
for the past two years Iraqi intelligence officers
were shuttling between Baghdad and Afghanistan,
meeting with Ayman Al Zawahiri. According to the
sources, one of the Iraqi intelligence officers, Salah
Suleiman, was captured last October by the Pakistanis
near the border with Afghanistan. The Iraqis are also
reported to have established strong ties with Imad
Mughniyeh.

"Weve only got scraps of information, not the full
picture," admits one intelligence source, "but it was
good enough for us to send a warning six weeks ago to
our allies that an unprecedented massive terror attack
was expected. One of our indications suggested that
Imad Mughniyeh met with some of his dormant agents on
secret trips to Germany. We believe that the
operational brains behind the New-York attack were
Mughniyeh and Zawahiri, who were probably financed and
got some logistical support from the Iraqi
Intelligence Service (SSO)."

Mughniyeh was the only one believed to have tried it
before. On April 12th 1997, he was reported to be only
two hours away from achieving the highest goal of any
terrorist organisation (until last week): blowing up
an Israeli El-Al airliner above Tel Aviv. A man
carrying a forged British passport with the name
Andrew Jonathan Neumann was in a Jerusalem hotel
preparing a bomb he was supposed to take on board an
El-Al flight leaving Israel, when it accidentally went
off. Andrew Jonathan Neumann was very badly injured
but strong enough to reveal later to the Israelis that
he was not British but Lebanese, and that his
operation was supposed to be a special "gift" to
Israel from Imad Mughniyeh.

A psychopath

"Bin Laden is a schoolboy in comparison with
Mughniyeh," says an Israeli who knows Mughniyeh . "The
guy is a genius, someone who refined the art of
terrorism to its utmost level. We studied him and
reached the conclusion that he is a clinical
psychopath motivated by uncontrollable psychological
reasons, which we have given up trying to understand.
The killing of his two brothers by the Americans only
inflamed his strong motivation."

Experts on Iraq and Saddam Hussein also believe that
Iraq was the state behind the two terror masterminds.
"In recent months, there was a change, and Iraq
decided to get into the terror business. On July 7th,
they tried for the first time to send a suicide
bomber, trained in Baghdad, to blow up Tel Aviv
airport (Foreign Report No. 2651)."

Our sources believe that it will be very difficult to
get to the bottom of this unprecedented terror
operation. However, they believe the chief of the
Iraqi SSO is Qusai Hussein, the dictators son, and
his organisation is the most likely to have been
involved.

Mughniyeh, 48, is a "sick man", says an intelligence
officer who was in charge of his file. He is
considered by Western intelligence agencies as the
most dangerous active terrorist today. He is wanted by
several governments and the Americans have put a $2m
reward on his head.

[Detailed list of Mughniyeh operations removed for
Non-Subscriber Extract]

It was the assassination of one man in March 1984 that
is said to have made Mughniyeh the CIAs most wanted
terrorist. Mughniyeh allegedly kidnapped the head of
the CIA station in Beirut, William Buckley. The
kidnapping triggered what later became known as
Irangate, when the Americans tried to exchange
Buckley (and others) with arms for Iran. However, the
attempt ended in a fiasco. By one unconfirmed account,
Mughniyeh tortured and killed Buckley with his own
hands.

A year later, in a combined CIA/Mossad operation, a
powerful car bomb went off at the entrance to the
house of Hizbullahs spiritual leader, Sheikh Muhammad
Hussein Fadlallah. Seventy-five people were killed.
One of them was his brother. Hunted by the CIA and the
Mossad, Mughniyeh hid in Iran.

In February 1992, Israeli helicopter gunships attacked
the convoy of the then head of Hizbullah, Sheikh Abas
Musawi, in South Lebanon. Musawi, his wife and
children were killed and the revenge attack followed a
month later. According to press reports, Mughniyeh was
called back into action and, in a well-planned and
devastating attack, his people blew up the Israeli
embassy in Argentina. The building was demolished and
92 were killed. Only last year, after a long
investigation, did Argentina issue a warrant for
Mughniyehs arrest.

The reprisal for the attack in Argentina came in
December 1994, when a car bomb went off in a southern
Shiite suburb of Beirut. Four people were killed. One
of them was called Mughniyeh, but to the deep
disappointment of those Israelis who planted the bomb
it was the wrong one. Mughniyehs life was saved, but
his other brother Fuad was killed. Mughniyeh waited
for his opportunity for revenge.

Our Israeli sources claim to see Mughniyehs signature
on the wreckage in New York and Washington. How to
counter this kind of terrorism? "To fight these
bastards you dont need a military attack," said an
experienced Israeli commando officer. "You only need
to adopt Israels assassination policy."

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