[News] Israel's Fingerprints Surface on The Hariri Assassination
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jul 23 12:42:31 EDT 2010
July 23 - 25, 2010
Israel's Fingerprints Surface
The Hariri Assassination
By RANNIE AMIRI
In the Middle East, the link between political
machinations, espionage and assassination is
either clear as day, or clear as mud.
As for the yet unsolved case of the February 2005
murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri,
mud might be giving way to daylight.
A crackdown on Israeli spy rings operating in
Lebanon has resulted in more than 70 arrests over
the past 18 months. Included among them are four
high-ranking Lebanese Army and General Security
officersone having spied for the Mossad since 1984.
A significant breakthrough in the ongoing
investigation occurred in late June and
culminated in the arrest of Charbel Qazzi, head
of transmission and broadcasting at Alfa, one of
Lebanons two state-owned mobile service providers.
According to the Lebanese daily As-Safir, Qazzi
confessed to installing computer programs and
planting electronic chips in Alfa transmitters.
These could then be used by Israeli intelligence
to monitor communications, locate and target
individuals for assassination, and potentially
deploy viruses capable of erasing recorded
information in the contact lines. Qazzis
collaboration with Israel reportedly dates back 14 years.
On July 12, a second arrest at Alfa was made.
Tarek al-Rabaa, an engineer and partner of
Qazzi, was apprehended on charges of spying for
Israel and compromising national security. A few
days later, a third Alfa employee was similarly detained.
Israel has refused to comment on the arrests.
Nevertheless, their apparent ability to have
penetrated Lebanons military and
telecommunication sectors has rattled the country
and urgently raised security concerns.
What does any of this have to do with the Hariri assassination?
Outside the obvious deleterious ramifications of
high-ranking Lebanese military officers working
for Israel, the very legitimacy of the Special
Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is now in question.
The STL is the U.N.-sanctioned body tasked with
prosecuting those responsible for the
assassination of the late prime minister. On Feb.
14, 2005, 1,000 kg of explosives detonated near
Hariris passing motorcade, killing him and 21 others.
It is believed the STL will issue indictments in
the matter as early as Septemberrelying heavily
on phone recordings and mobile transmissions to do so.
According to the
A preliminary report by the U.N. investigating
team said it had collected data from mobile phone
calls made the day of Hariri's murder as evidence.
National likewise reported, The international
inquiry, which could present indictments or
findings as soon as September, according to
unverified media reports, used extensive phone
records to draw conclusions into a conspiracy to
kill Hariri, widely blamed on Syria and its Lebanese allies ...
In a July 16 televised speech, Hezbollah
Secretary-General Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah
speculated the STL would use information gleaned
from Israeli-compromised communications to
falsely implicate the group in the prime ministers murder:
Some are counting in their analysis of the (STL)
indictment on witnesses, some of whom turned out
to be fake, and on the telecommunications
networks which were infiltrated by spies who can change and manipulate data.
Before the (2006) war, these spies gave
important information to the Israeli enemy and
based on this information, Israel bombed
buildings, homes, factories and institutions.
Many martyrs died and many others were wounded.
These spies are partners in the killings, the
crimes, the threats and the displacement.
Nasrallah called the STLs manipulation an
Israeli project meant to create an uproar in Lebanon.
Indeed, in May 2008 Lebanon experienced a taste
of this. At the height of an 18-month stalemate
over the formation of a national unity government
under then Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, his
cabinets decision to unilaterally declare
Hezbollahs fixed-line communication system
illegal pushed the country to the
<http://www.counterpunch.org/amiri05102008.html>brink of civil war.
Recognizing the value their secure lines of
communication had in combating the July 2006
Israeli invasion and suspecting that state-owned
telecoms might be compromised, Hezbollah resisted
Sinioras plans to have its network dismantled.
Their men swept through West Beirut and put a
quick end to the governments plan. Two years
later, their suspicions appear to have been vindicated.
Opposition MP and Free Patriotic Movement head
Michel Aoun has already
Nasrallah that the STL will likely indict
uncontrolled Hezbollah members to be followed
Lebanese-Lebanese and Lebanese-Palestinian
tension, and by an Israeli war on Lebanon.
Giving credence to Nasrallah and Aouns
assertions, Commander in Chief of the Israel
Defense Forces Gabi Ashkenazi,
with lots of wishes that the situation in
Lebanon would deteriorate in September after the
STL indicts Hezbollah for Hariris assassination.
Ashkenazis gleeful, prescient testimony to the
Knessets Foreign Affairs Committee betrays what
Israel hopes the fallout from the STLs report
will be: fomentation of civil strife and discord
among Lebanons sectarian groups, generally
divided into pro- and anti-Syria factions.
Ashkenazi anticipates this to happen, of course,
because he knows Israels unfettered access to
critical phone records will have framed Hezbollah for the crime.
Israels agents and operatives in Lebanon and its
infiltration of a telecom network have been
exposed. At the very least, the STL must
recognize that evidence of alleged Hezbollah
involvement in Hariris death (a group that
historically enjoyed good ties with the late
premier) is wholly tainted and likely doctored.
The arrest of Qazzi and al-Rabaa in the breakup
of Israeli spy rings should prompt the STL to
shift its focus to the only regional player that
has benefited from Hariris murder; one that will
continue to do so if and when their designs to
implicate Hezbollah are realized.
It is time to look at Tel Aviv.
Rannie Amiri is an independent Middle East
commentator. He may be reached at: rbamiri [at] yahoo [dot] com.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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