Blogs of War

Hizballah Cavalcade

Internet Haganah



Kremlin Trolls

Making Sense of Jihad

Selected Wisdom

Views from the Occident


American Terrorists

Anwar Awlaki

Al Qaeda


American Al Qaeda Members

Inspire Magazine

Revolution Muslim


News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Declassified State Department Cables On Hezbollah's Imad Mughniyah

Declassified documents reveal that the Bush administration was prepared to deal with Hezbollah as a political party if it abandoned the use of violence.

The new documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by INTELWIRE for State Department cables relating to Hezbollah's terrorist mastermind, Imad Mughniyah, reportedly killed in a car bombing in 2008.

Mughniyah is believed to have killed hundreds of Americans during his terrorist career and is believed to have been responsible for the 1983 terrorist bombings of U.S. targets in Lebanon, among many other attacks. A recent lawsuit also alleges Mughniyah helped facilitate the September 11 attacks (memorandum, PDF).

The new documents also point to Mughniyah's involvement in a host of attacks, including a March 12, 2002, bombing that killed six Israeli civilians in northern Israel, which had not previously been attributed to him.

The cables also seem to represent overtures toward Hezbollah made through diplomatic contacts with Syria in the wake of September 11, although Mughniyah remained a sticking point.

A February 2005 cable supporting an EU effort to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization stated:

[The] U.S. is opposed to Hizballah's use of terror and violence not Hizballah as social/political/religious party in Lebanon. But there should be no recognition of Hizballah as legitimate party until all involvement in violence ceases. There should also be no distinction between the so-called "military" and "political" wings of Hizballah.

The cable went on to indicate that Hezbollah could not be treated as a political party unless its popular leader, Hassan Nasrallah, were to step down and the organization were to cut ties Mughniyah.

Another cable dated May 10, 2002 described a meeting between former U.S. Ambassador Theodore Kattouf and former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam:

The Ambassador interjected that the U.S. was not concerned about Hizballah's past resistance activities inside Lebanon. Although we strongly disagree with Hizballah's aims, we did not take issue with it playing a social and political role in Lebanon. But Hizballah was implicated in the 1996 Khobar Tower bombings in Saudi Arabia, something the ambassador knows firsthand, since he was the charge, and in bombings in Argentina in the early 90s. Beyond this, the U.S. would neither forget nor forgive Imad Mughniyeh and his associates for their attacks on U.S. personnel in Lebanon during the 1980s.

But a January 2002 cable seemed to indicate intelligence suggesting Mughniyah had already pulled back from involvement with Hezbollah in favor of Iran, stating:

French information indicated that Imad Mughniyeh and his external security organization had distanced themselves from Hizballah proper and were taking more and more of their direction from Tehran.

The documents also describe Mughniyah-related plots to attack French, American and Israeli targets in the Ivory Coast during the 1980s.

Click here to read the cables (PDF)

Labels: , , , , ,

Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



Tweets referencing this post:



", granular analysis..."

ISIS: The State of Terror
"Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post

More on ISIS: The State of Terror

"...a timely warning..."

Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times

More on Jihad Joe


INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


Newest posts!

Anwar Awlaki 9/11 Documents As Seen On 'Fox News R...

Video Preview of 'Fox News Reporting: Secrets of 9...

American Terrorist Anwar Awlaki's Role Examined In...

New bin Laden Video Still Just Audio

Revolution Muslim's Co-Founder Charged For South P...

J.M. Berger's New Book, Jihad Joe, On Sale Now!

Feds: US Supporters of Pakistani Taliban Sent At L...

Jihad Joe Excerpt Now Available On

The Bin Laden Porn Stash

Omar Hammami Continues To Fall Short In Speech On ...


New York Pipe Bomb Suspect Linked to Revolution Muslim

The Utility of Lone Wolves

Interview with Online Jihadist Abu Suleiman Al Nasser

A Way Forward for CVE: The Five Ds

How Terrorists Use The Internet: Just Like You

PATCON: The FBI's Secret War on the Militia Movement

Interview About Jihad With Controversial Cleric Bilal Philips

Forgeries on the Jihadist Forums

U.S. Gave Millions To Charity Linked To Al Qaeda, Anwar Awlaki

State Department Secretly Met With Followers of Blind Sheikh

State Department Put 'Political Pressure' On FBI To Deport Brother-in-Law Of Osama Bin Laden In 1995

FBI Records Reveal Details Of Nixon-Era Racial Profiling Program Targeting Arabs

Gaza Flotilla Official Was Foreign Fighter in Bosnia War

U.S. Had 'High Confidence' Of UBL Attack In June 2001

Behind the Handshake: The Rumsfeld-Saddam Meeting