Hezbollah’s military commander indicted by UN tribunal

Two days ago, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which has been investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, indicted four members of Hezbollah for their involvement. The Lebanese press quickly obtained and released the names of the four operatives. And yesterday, the Lebanese interior minister confirmed that the names of four Hezbollah operatives that were leaked are correct. From NOW Lebanon:

“The names of the four suspects revealed by the local media are the same as those mentioned in the arrest warrants submitted by the STL,” he said.

Charbel was referring to a sealed indictment and related arrest warrants delivered by the STL on Thursday to Attorney General Said Mirza.

He also said Mirza had given him the arrest warrants early Friday and confirmed the identity of the four suspects as Mustafa Badreddine, Salim Ayyash, Assad Sabra and Hussein Anaissi.

It isn’t surprising that Hezbollah is being accused of conducting the deadly car bombing that killed Hariri. Immediately after the attack, both Hezbollah and Syria were accused of complicity. And it should be no surprise that the brother-in-law of slain terrorist mastermind Imad Mugniyah was involved:

Badreddine is the brother-in-law of top Hezbollah operative Imad Mughniyeh, who was murdered in a 2008 bombing in Damascus.

He is suspected of having masterminded the February 14, 2005 seaside bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others.

Badreddine was appointed as leader of Hezbollah’s military operations after Mugniyah was killed. He is also a member of Hezbollah’s executive council, according to Ya Libnan. Along with Muqniyah, Badreddine co-founded Hezbollah’s military wing.

Salim Ayyash is described as an American citizen who is a “senior party official” in Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is a member of the ruling coalition government, and has sought to block the STL from issuing an indictment. And for good reason. The assassination of Hariri was ordered by the top levels of Hezbollah’s leadership council. Mugniyah, when alive, was as powerful as Hezbollah’s leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. And if Badreddine was involved in the attack, it is no stretch to assume Mugniyah was as well.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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