David Kenner: Do We Finally Know Who Killed Rafiq Hariri?
David Kenner is assistant editor at Foreign Policy.
Lebanese politics, for the past six years, has in large part revolved around competing stories. In the wake of the February 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, the country's political factions have struggled to provide a more persuasive account of who killed the iconic Sunni leader and why, and how the perpetrators carried out the operation. The latest chapter in this growing opus came today, with the release of the U.N. Special Tribunal on Lebanon's long-awaited indictment.
Much of this version of the story was already known. The tribunal had made public the names of the four Hezbollah members that were charged under the indictment in late July. A series of leaks, first to Der Spiegel and later to the CBC's Neil Macdonald, also hinted at the indictment's reliance on telecommunications analysis.
However, the indictment provides some important details about the prosecution's evidence, which appears to be based almost entirely on analysis of the mobile phones used by the Hezbollah operatives. These overlapping networks allegedly allowed Mustafa Badreddine to serve as the overall controller of the attack, Salim Ayyash to directly coordinate the assassination team's actions, and for Hussein Oneissi and Assad Sabra to find a patsy that would falsely claim responsibility.
How was the U.N. investigating team able to identify these different networks, and determine that Hezbollah members were owners of the phones?..
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