My Israeli source tells me that the Mossad perpetrated today’s bombing at a security checkpoint entering the Bekaa Valley. The target of the failed assassination attempt was Lebanon’s security chief, Abbas Ibrahim, who is a Shiite with close connections to Hezbollah (at least this is what Israeli intelligence believes). Ibrahim himself told Lebanese media that he suspected the Mossad of involvement. In a separate report in Reuters, Ibrahim blamed Sunni extremists. The bombing followed by one hour Lebanon’s arrest of Sunni militants inside a Beirut hotel who were suspected of plotting terror attacks. I don’t know whether these arrests are connected to the bomb plot and/or the Mossad itself.
My source confirms that Mossad intended the attack as a reprisal for the assassination of two Israeli intelligence agents, Miriam and Emanuel Riva in Brussels several weeks ago. Israeli intelligence blames Hezbollah’s Unit 133 for that attack, as I’ve reported here.
Another signature of the Mossad, as my source explains, is that only a few hours before the assassination attempt, the Daily Star published an item leaked to it by sources with some connection to Israeli intelligence, which claimed Sunni jihadists were behind the plot. This could’ve been a red herring meant to divert Lebanese investigators from the real perpetrators. Though the source would not confirm a collaboration between the Israelis and the jihadists, that too remains a possibility. The Mossad is known for such coordination in similar assassinations in Iran, in which it worked with both Sunni dissidents and the MeK in killing Iranian scientists and orchestrated other acts of terror.
The Mossad is not known for suicide assassinations. But Sunni Islamists are. This might be another piece of evidence pointing to collaboration.
Another possibility is that the Mossad sought to point the finger at the Sunnis when they weren’t involved at all. This would deflect attention from Mossad involvement. This is what happened just before Israel’s 1995 assassination of Islamic Jihad leader, Fathi Shikaki, when false information was leaked claiming a violent internal split with IJ. This allowed Israel to claim he’d been murdered by his fellow militants.
Hezbollah itself tried to divert attention from its alleged role in the Riva attack, when media reported that the suspected killer traveled to Syria to fight with Sunni insurgents there. This report was apparently false.
What’s especially dangerous about this attack if it was a Mossad operation, is that the Israelis usually target officials of Islamist militant groups like Hezbollah or Hamas. They rarely target officials of foreign governments. When they do, it’s usually military officials (or in Iran’s case, nuclear scientists). I can’t recall any previous example of Israel trying to kill a Lebanese government official. In any case, this attack, if the work of Mossad, is a blatant violation of international law and a blatant example of state terror.