An Israel security intelligence report suspects Iraq was involved in assisting terrorists to attack the United States last week and names two prominent Middle Eastern terrorists that it says masterminded the attacks.
Compiled report by Selwyn Manning
An Israel security intelligence report suspects Iraq was involved in assisting terrorists to attack the United States last week.
In the Israeli foreign report, the Israel Defence Force's intelligence wing suspects that Iraq was behind the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks in the United States.
According to the report, IDF intelligence officials believe the mission was directed by two of the world’s 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 to Osama Bin Laden.
In the hours that followed last week's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC, the Central Intelligence Agency called on Israel's intelligence organisations for help in identifying the masterminds behind the attacks.
IsraelNationalNews.com reports Mughniyeh and Al Zawahiri have not been seen for some time.
It said: "Mughniyeh is probably the world’s most wanted outlaw. Unconfirmed reports in Beirut say he has undergone plastic surgery and is unrecognizable. Zawahiri is thought to be based in Egypt. He could be Bin Laden’s chief representative outside Afghanistan," Israel National News said.
Israeli sources claim that for the past two years Iraqi intelligence officers were shuttling between Baghdad and Afghanistan, meeting with Ayman Al Zawahiri.
Israeli intelligence suggested 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.
Israel National News reported one intelligence source as saying: "We’ve only got scraps of information, not the full picture, 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)."
It is believed Mughniyeh attempted in April 12th 1997 to blow up an Israeli El-Al airliner above Tel Aviv.
A terrorist name Jonathan Neumann, with a forged British passport, was preparing the explosive device in an eastern Jerusalem when it exploded prematurely, critically wounding Neumann.
The investigation that followed the bungled attack led to revealing that Neumann was in fact a Lebanese national preparing the attack orchestrated by Imad Mughniyeh.
According to the Mossad, Israeli intelligence, Mughniyeh, 48, is a "sick man".
Mughniyeh is considered by some Western intelligence agencies as the most dangerous active terrorist today. He is wanted by several governments and the United States has a US$2 million reward on his head.
The US accuses Mughniyeh of kidnapping CIA station head in Beirut, William Buckley.
The kidnapping triggered what later became known as ‘Irangate’, when the US tried to exchange Buckley (and others) with arms for Iran.
However, the attempt ended violently. One unconfirmed account says, 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 Hizbullah’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah.
Seventy-five people were killed. One of them was Mughniyeh brother. Mughniyeh hid from the CIA and Mossad 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 a revenge attack followed a month later. According to Middle Eastern press reports, Mughniyeh was called back into action and, in a well-planned, but 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 Mughniyeh’s arrest.
Israel's Mossad took vengence for the Argentina attack 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 Israeli agents who planted the bomb it was the wrong one.
Mughniyeh’s life was saved, but his other brother Fuad was killed. Mughniyeh again waited for revenge.
According to the IDF report, unnamed Israeli sources claim to see Mughniyeh’s signature on the wreckage in New York and Washington.
What advice does the Israeli intelligence service have for those driving this war against terrorism?
"To fight these bastards you don’t need a military attack," said an experienced Israeli commando officer. "You only need to adopt Israel’s assassination policy."