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Hezbollah commander on FBI terrorist list killed

BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) — A senior Hezbollah commander suspected in some of the highest-profile international terrorist attacks of the last 25 years has died in an explosion in Syria, Hezbollah TV said Wednesday.

Imad Mughniyeh died Tuesday in an explosion in a residential section of the Syrian capital, Damascus, according to Hezbollah’s television station, Al-Manar.

Hezbollah blamed Israel for Mughniyeh’s death, but Israeli officials denied they were involved.

Israel rejects the attempt by terror groups to attribute to it any involvement in this incident, an Israeli government spokesman said.

Western intelligence agencies long suspected Mughniyeh in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 63 people, according to a 2001 CNN report. He also was suspected in the truck bombing that year of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, an attack that killed 241 people and preceded the U.S. military withdrawal from Lebanon.

The FBI listed Hezbollah’s Mughniyeh as one of its Most Wanted Terrorists, blaming him for his role in the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, which gripped the attention of TV viewers in the United States and around the world for more than two weeks. Watch how Western authorities have been after Mughniyeh for two decades

Hijackers seized the plane as it traveled from Athens, Greece, to Rome, Italy, forcing it to land at the Beirut airport. A U.S. Navy diver, Robert Dean Stethem, was shot and killed during the 17-day ordeal.

The FBI says on its Web site that Mughniyeh was wanted for his role in planning and participating in the June 14, 1985, hijacking of a commercial airliner which resulted in the assault on various passengers and crew members, and the murder of one United States citizen.

Before the September 11 terrorist attacks, U.S. officials had blamed Mughniyeh for the deaths of more Americans around the world than any other terror suspect, CNN reported in 2001.

There was a massive intelligence effort to locate Mughniyeh for over 20 years, Magnus Ranstorp, a professor at the University of St. Andrews Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, told CNN that year.

U.S. authorities tried to seize Mughniyeh on at least two occasions — in France in 1986 and in Saudi Arabia in 1995, CNN reported.
Hezbollah commander on FBI terrorist list killed – found here.

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February 13, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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