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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Will STL find Iran behind Hariri murder?

From YNet: and other sources:
Sources familiar with the investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005 told Newsmax that the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon will accuse Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei of giving the order to murder the former Lebanese prime minister, according to the Lebanese website Naharnet.

The sources told Newsmax, an American news website, that the tribunal will lay out evidence showing that the murder was committed by Iran's Quds force and Hezbollah.

The order to murder Hariri was transmitted to Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah's top commander at the time, by Quds force chief Qassem Suleymani, sources familiar with the investigation told Newsmax.

The sources said Mughniyeh and his brother-in-law, Mustapha Badr al-Dine, put together the hit team that carried out the attack. "The Iranians considered Hariri to be an agent of Saudi Arabia, and felt that killing him would pave the way for a Hezbollah takeover of Lebanon," one of the sources said.

According to the sources, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, the head of Syrian intelligence, also played key roles in the assassination plot.

The order to murder Hariri was transmitted to Hizbullah’s military leader, Imad Mughniyeh, by Quds force chief Qassem Suleymani, sources told Newsmax.

Mughniyeh was killed in a car bombing in Damascus on February 12, 2008. According to Saturday’s report, Mughniyeh put together the hit team that carried out the attack at the behest of Iran, with the help of his brotherin- law.

“The Iranians considered Hariri to be an agent of Saudi Arabia, and felt that killing him would pave the way for a Hizbullah takeover of Lebanon,” a source told Newsmax.

Iran was not the only country involved in the assassination plot, they said. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, the head of Syrian intelligence, also played key roles in the plan to murder Hariri, a source was reported as saying.
This is most interesting, and would have huge repercussions, but I have one question:

Why is the media suddenly quoting a Newsmax article from six weeks ago?

It appears that Lebanon's Naharnet found the Newsmax article earlier today, and when it published it then all these other outlets followed immediately.

Newsmax is a conservative-leaning site. I have no idea how good their reporting is, although I seem to remember this reporter, Ken Timmerman, appearing to have some good sources in the past.

So why is a six-week-old news item suddenly considered "news"?