Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Lebanon — Rick Moran @ 11:27 am

The indictments were long expected but still, there is great uneasiness in Lebanon as a result of the Special Tribunal Lebanon’s (STL) action in charging 4 members of the terrorist group/political party with Rafiq Hariri’s murder.

My piece from Monday’s FPM:

Hezbollah has rejected the indictments and the authority of the tribunal, claiming the court is a tool of the Israelis and Americans and vowing that it won’t cooperate with any efforts by the STL to try its own party members. Hassan Nasrallah, the group’s spiritual adviser and acknowledged leader, blasted the court as “corrupt” and stated, “They will not be able to arrest them in one year, two [years], nor in 30 or 300 years[.]” Nasrallah previously threatened to “cut off the hands” of anyone who tried to apprehend members of his group and claims that the goal of the tribunal is to sow sectarian strife in Lebanon between Sunnis and Shias.

Hariri was a beloved figure in the Sunni community, having served as prime minister four different terms between 1992 and 2004. His murder in a massive car bombing on February 14, 2005 set off a series of demonstrations that eventually led to the Syrian army quitting Lebanon the following spring.

The indictment names Mustafa Badreddine, the brother-in-law of assassinated Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, as the prime suspect and the chief planner in the assassination. Badreddine replaced Mughniyeh as Hezbollah’s chief operations officer after he was killed in a mysterious explosion in Syria on Feb. 12, 2008 — presumably carried out by Israeli intelligence, although there were murmurs at the time of his death that Syria’s President Assad or a rival Hezbollah faction might have been responsible for the attack.

Also named were Salim Ayyash, 48, who headed up the terrorist cell that carried out the operation. Ayyash holds a US passport and was a volunteer with Lebanese civil defense. It is believed both men have fled Lebanon and are currently hiding in Iran.

Little is known about the two other conspirators — Asad Sabra and Hasan Ainessi — except that Hezbollah has confirmed they are members of the terrorist group.

In a vaguely worded policy statement, of which portions related to the STL were released on Friday, the new government stressed its “respect” for all UN resolutions and its intention to follow the tribunal’s instructions in order to get to the bottom of the Hariri assassination. The policy statement must be approved in parliament in order for the cabinet to be seated.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati, fearful of an international backlash if his new government totally rejected the work of the STL, was at odds for weeks with Nasrallah over the best approach to take toward the tribunal, with Nasrallah demanding a cut off in funding for the court, as well as total non-cooperation with its investigation. For the time being at least, Nasrallah appears to have acceded to the necessity of appearing to cooperate with the STL — at least until the government can gain a vote of confidence in the parliament and the policy statement approved.

STL chief prosecutor Daniel Bellemare made it clear that these four indictments were only the beginning. Sources told Lebanon’s Daily Star that the indictments contained arrest warrants for other, non-Lebanese suspects. It is widely believed that members of Syrian intelligence, as well as Palestinian terrorists, will also be named in the indictments, although it appears to be less likely that high-ranking members of the government of Bashar Assad will face trial. It is also thought that any indictment of Syrian nationals has been put on hold due to the unrest in that country.

My guess is that because Hezbollah-dominated government doesn’t want any trials, there won’t be any. Still, it will be interesting to see who else is indicted - probably some Syrians and perhaps a surprise Iranian or two.



Filed under: The Rick Moran Show — Rick Moran @ 4:20 pm

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