One of the world's most notorious terrorists, Imad Mughniyeh of the Islamic paramilitary group Hizbollah, has died in a car bombing in the Syrian capital Damascus. Israel and the US say they've got no idea who was behind the assassination, but both are lying. It's surely the work of the Israeli security service Mossad.
Mughniyeh's name wasn't nearly as well-known as those of other international super-terrorists of his ilk, such as Carlos the Jackal or Abu Nidal. That low profile is probably why he was able to stay on the run for so long. Back in the 1980s he was just about America's most wanted. Blamed for bomb attacks in Beirut in 1983 which left hundreds of American service personnel and others dead, it's thought he was also one of the hijackers of TWA Flight 847 two years later. He'd spent the last two decades lying low, but undoubtedly still one of the most senior members of Hizbollah.
Killing him now is a valuable coup for Mossad and the Israeli government, which badly needed it. In the summer of 2006, Hizbollah fought the might of the Israeli army to a standstill in a month-long war in southern Lebanon. It was a crushing blow for Israel's sense of security, and tarnished the almost mystical reputation for efficiency built up over the years by the Israeli military and Mossad. With security by far the most important thing for the Israeli people, and with that so obviously defied by Hizbollah, Israel's been an uneasy place ever since. Several political scandals have affected senior figures in the government. Therefore, Mossad's assassination of Imad Mughniyeh happens at an opportune time. This sign of its return to past successes will reassure both Israeli politicians and its people, that they are safe from their enemies.