When a Hezbollah commander implicated in scores of terrorist attacks around the world was assassinated in Syria in 2008, all kinds of theories swirled about who might have been behind it. Today, the Washington Post reveals that it was actually a team effort by the CIA and Mossad, its Israeli counterpart. US agents provided the specialized explosive that killed Imad Mughniyah as he walked down a Damascus street, reports the Post. "We probably blew up 25 bombs to make sure we got it right,” says a former US intelligence official. (They did; there was no collateral damage.) The explosive device was placed in a spare tire of an SUV parked on the street, and Mossad agents detonated it as Mughniyah walked by.
“The way it was set up, the US could object and call it off, but it could not execute,” says the former US official. Four other former intel officials confirm the US involvement. The story explains that the assassination was a little dicey on legal grounds because it occurred on soil where the US was not fighting a war, and it involved a car bombing, which some legal scholars consider a violation of international law. The Bush White House signed off on the killing on national defense grounds: Mughniyah was implicated in several attacks that killed hundreds of Americans, going back to the the 1983 embassy bombing in Beirut. Click to read the full story. (Read more CIA stories.)