New Information on the Hariri Assassination?

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According to the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Serge Brammertz, the United Nations investigator looking into the assassination of the late Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, is now almost certain there was an underground blast in the operation. Brammertz apparently increasingly believes that there were, in fact, two blasts, one above ground and one below, a theory initially raised privately by members of the Hariri family. This is not the first time that the hypothesis has resurfaced, but this time there is much more to suggest that Brammertz is indeed thinking along these lines. I've heard from a very reliable UN source that investigators have found new information from the blast site, and in his first report, dated March 14, Brammertz noted that his team had "also further examined the possibility of an aboveground, underground or combination impact."

An underground explosion would virtually seal the murder as a Syrian-led operation, since only the Syrians would have had the bureaucratic means, and influence, to organize the road works needed to plant a device of that magnitude. I've also heard that one of the more important of the four Lebanese generals arrested on suspicion of participating in the crime has started to spill the beans, has given several names of other participants, and is requesting witness protection. According to the source, President Emile Lahoud's recent request for the generals to be released was at least partly designed to prevent this from happening, given the central role allegedly played by the general in the plot.

A third thing I have heard, this from several sources, is that the Syrian witness Houssam Houssam, who alleged that the Hariri family had tried to compel him to present false testimony to UN investigators, and who appeared in Damascus last year to blacken the investigation, was driven to the Syrian border and, therefore, removed from Lebanese custody, by Hezbollah. This information, like that of the general who has started to talk, must of course be confirmed, but is what is circulating in political circles in Beirut.

For an English-language summary of the Al-Sharq al-Awsat piece, go here.

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  1. Wait a minute… Are you saying Syria might have something to do with the problems in Lebanon?

  2. But, that’s unpossible. Syria isn’t a US client state, and is therefore incapable of causing any mischief on the world stage.

    I could have sworn every bad thing that happened in the Middle East was because of US meddling. Is it possible that this was not a US black op?

  3. Sounds plausible to me.

    But why are we getting this story as “something someone Michael Young won’t name says that somebody says that somebody’s thinking that…?”

  4. joe: because, as I’m quickly discovering in my young professional career, all of life is just like high school

  5. TallDave:

    Bush is just a tool of Israel, but, in fairness to him, so is everybody. Ever get a Twinkie with almost no cream in the center? Israel’s fault.

  6. I blame Bush.

    Whew. That’s more like it.

  7. Why is the Hariri killing a bad thing? It got Syria (partially) out of Lebanon and I got to hear Mr. Young on NPR all the time.

  8. spur – Damn. I thought I was cold.

  9. Paging Justin Raimondo.

  10. I’m sure Raimondo has already begun hunting down Israeli Spy Rings.

  11. Come one guys, get your ridiculous causal chains straight – this is a Young column, so everything GOOD that happens in the Middle East is because Bush was a brave enough MAN to bomb the crap out of Iraq.

    For example:

    Brammertz would never have had the access he has to conduct the investigation if the people of the middle east weren’t emboldened by the shining example of democracy at work in Iraq! Go Bush!

  12. Why is the Hariri killing a bad thing?

    Offhand, I’d say it didn’t do much good for Hariri.

  13. Time to catch the syrian regime…Syrians are fed up from all the failed policies and alliences that is getting them nothing.

    free Michel Kilo Now

    For a Free Syria and Free Lebanon
    Peace in the region and no to wars and oppression
    Free Syria

    This is not an invition for the US to invade…the Iraqi war and occupation was very harmful to the region and to the Syrians who are always reminded of the bloody outcome of a regime change

  14. “I’m sure Raimondo has already begun hunting down Israeli Spy Rings.”

    Are those as good as Junior Mints?

  15. You should read this book:

    Rafiq Hariri and the Fate of Lebanon by Marwan Iskandar, ISBN: 0863563708.

    Despite symptoms of speed, the book is a useful and fascinating view of Hariri and his death.

    Christopher!

  16. You should read this book:

    Rafiq Hariri and the Fate of Lebanon by Marwan Iskandar, ISBN: 0863563708.

    Despite symptoms of speed, the book is a useful and fascinating view of Hariri and his death.

    Christopher!

  17. You should read this book:

    Rafiq Hariri and the Fate of Lebanon by Marwan Iskandar, ISBN: 0863563708.

    Despite symptoms of speed, the book is a useful and fascinating view of Hariri and his death.

    Christopher!

  18. You should read this book:

    Rafiq Hariri and the Fate of Lebanon by Marwan Iskandar, ISBN: 0863563708.

    Despite symptoms of speed, the book is a useful and fascinating view of Hariri and his death.

    Christopher!

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