Imad Mugniyeh, although not as well known as bin Laden, was a vicous terrorist with a good deal of American blood on his hands.
Matthew Levitt at politico.com offers a piece on why the CIA assassinated Mugniyeh in 2008.
The CIA doesn’t assassinate often anymore, so when it does the agency picks its targets carefully. The story uncovered last weekend by the Washington Post and Newsweek the CIA’s reported role in the February 2008 assassination of Hezbollah master terrorist Imad Mughniyeh is the stuff of a Hollywood spy thriller. A team of CIA spotters in Damascus tracking a Hezbollah terrorist wanted for decades; a custom-made explosive shaped to kill only the target and placed in the spare tire of an SUV parked along the target’s route home; intelligence gathered by Israelis, paired with a bomb built and tested in North Carolina, taking out a man responsible for the deaths of more Americans than anyone else until 9/11.
But the CIA had motive too, and for the many within the agency—indeed, as a matter of institutional memory—the hunt for Imad Mughniyeh was personal. Mughniyeh was behind the 1983 bombing of the US embassy in Beirut, which took out the entire CIA station there as well as the visiting head of the agency’s Middle East analysis branch. (In fact, word of the CIA’s role in Mugniyeh’s killing first leaked in a biography of that officer, Robert Ames, by Kai Bird, published last year.) Mughniyeh reportedly planned the 1984 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks and watched the attack unfold through binoculars from the top of a nearby building. His hand touched Hezbollah plots from Germany to Kuwait and from Argentina to Thailand.
...Twenty-four years after Bill Buckley’s abduction, the CIA got its payback. A former CIA operative told Newsweek that publicly acknowledging the CIA’s role in Mughniyeh’s demise was long overdue. “It sends the message that we will track you down, no matter how much time it takes,” he said. “The other side needs to know this.”
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
You can also read the Washington Post' s piece on the killing of Mughniyeh via the below link: