Lebanon: Resistance Air Defense Commander Assassinated

They suddenly learned the true identity of the shadowy man who lived on the second floor as being one of the people credited for achieving Hezbollah’s victory in July 2006. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi).

By: Radwan Mortada

Published Thursday, December 5, 2013

Israeli intelligence has assassinated Hassan al-Laqqis. A deadly breach has taken out one of the leading minds of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon. The executioners snuck under cover of darkness and struck a blow to Hezbollah deep inside its stronghold.

The five bullets did not penetrate the head of Hassan al-Laqqis alone but also the heart of the Resistance itself. The assailants followed Laqqis, snuck in, and struck down the head of Hezbollah’s air defense division, and one of the Resistance’s most important “electronic minds.”

The perpetrators fired five shots – one of which missed – killing Laqqis after several botched assassination attempts in the past. There is no doubt that this is a Mossad operation, no matter who carried it out directly – whether takfiri groups or collaborators.

The boldness of the perpetrators alone was enough to establish that they were not Israelis, but rather agents. However, the identity of the target proves conclusively that the mastermind is Israel. The loss is a major one, but this is what happens in war.

At midnight on Wednesday, December 4, a guard at the Shaheen Residential Complex in the St. Therese district, located southeast of Beirut in Hadath, was awoken by a strange noise. The man heard the sound of glass breaking. He hesitated for a moment, and then went to check it out.

There was no one there, except Laqqis, who was sitting behind the wheel of his car covered in his own blood. Another neighbor of Laqqis heard the same noise. He went out on his balcony and saw two men running through the field adjacent to the complex.

He could not make out their faces. He did not dwell on it much because he did not know what had happened, but he had a hunch that something terrible had just taken place.

Laqqis’s neighbors did not know who he was. They suddenly learned the true identity of the shadowy man who lived on the second floor as being one of the people credited for achieving Hezbollah’s victory in July 2006.

The crime scene did not differ much from other crime scenes, with the exception of the presence of Hezbollah personnel. At the entrance of the complex, a man in his twenties was checking the identities of the journalists who flocked to the scene.

Despite the sheer number of journalists, police officers, and Hezbollah personnel, deep silence engulfed the place. The complex consists of three buildings with surveillance cameras placed at each corner. It is not easy to enter without being spotted, and the balconies overlook the main yard.

The complex is surrounded by buildings from all sides, though one side is adjacent to a field littered with a few trees. This was the deadly weak spot, as witnesses reported that the perpetrators had infiltrated the complex through that opening to shoot Laqqis, before leaving the same way.

Initial information indicates that the two men were expecting Laqqis. Perhaps they hid behind a car or in the field. Then, as soon as his vehicle arrived, one of them approached and fired from a silenced pistol at the victim’s head and neck.

There is no official security information yet, but analyzing surveillance tapes, if the cameras were indeed operational, may reveal the identity of the perpetrators, especially since there is a camera located right where Laqqis had parked his car.

Again, this is war. It is an open-ended security battle between the Resistance’s security services and Israel’s. It is nothing new for Israel to strike the Resistance in the latter’s backyard, but the modus operandi is new.

The target, meanwhile, happens to be the second most important Hezbollah commander to be assassinated, after the group’s military leader Imad Mughniyeh. Israel has not carried out assassinations this bold and direct before. Most previous assassinations would be carried out by means of explosives planted in the cars of Resistance officials or along a route they took regularly.

This is odd, bearing in mind that Laqqis’s assassination is the first to take place against Hezbollah targets since Mughniyeh’s assassination in 2008, and the first in Beirut’s southern suburb since the assassination of Hezbollah leader Ghalib Awali in 2004.

In this regard, reports have confirmed that only Israel knew Laqqis and the nature of his work. Accordingly, all indications point that Israel supplied the perpetrators with information about the man’s place of residence and movements.

The identity of the perpetrators remains unknown, although sources do not discount the possibility of them being radical extremists, “because the operation is closer to being a suicide attack as it was possible the men would have been intercepted and engaged.” Concerning questions about the relationship between the Mossad and the takfiri groups, sources say, “There could be indirect coordination through agents, but it could also be direct.”

According to reports, Israel has tried to take out Laqqis more than once, including through direct Israeli bombardment of a residential complex in al-Hajjaj Street in Chiyah during the July War, based on intelligence reports that Laqqis was present inside. It is worth noting that Laqqis’s son was killed in addition to 40 others in that air strike, which took place on the 27th day of the war.

According to the same reports, the car that the Israeli air force pursued and strafed along the Camille Chamoun Highway in the area of St. Therese during the war was being driven by Laqqis, who was injured in the process.

Later on Wednesday, Hezbollah announced Laqqis’s death officially, stating, “Martyred commander Hassan al-Laqqis spent his youth and all his life in the Resistance, since its early days and until his last hours. He was a creative striver who made many sacrifices, and a leader and a lover of martyrdom. He was the father of the martyr who died with a gathering of martyrs during the aggression of July 2006.”

Hezbollah then accused Israel of being behind the assassination, stating, “[Israel] had tried to get to the martyr many times, in many regions, and failed,” that is, before this crime. Though a statement was posted on Twitter claiming responsibility for the murder on behalf of the “Free Sunni Brigade-Baalbeck,” sources close to Hezbollah questioned its authenticity, saying that the group in question does not exist.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Comments

The recent killing of Abdul-Qadir Al-Saleh in Syria may have resulted in this killing as a form of vengeance by the rebels and their supporters.

To all the Zionist trolls who post their trashy propaganda and fantasies here - the resistance will not rest until the colonial entity known as 'Israel' is no more. Go back to Poland, Russia, or Rhode Island, or wherever the hell else you are from, Zionist trash. No Arab lands belong to you, settlers and thieves! Long live the resistance!

The same can be said about Berber land occupied by the Arabs in North Africa and Kurd land occupied by the Arabs in the Middle East. Like the Palestinians, neither the Berbers nor the Kurds have a homeland that they have full sovereign rule over.

Miranda, the resistance Is hard at fighting for the Palestinian cause. Ask Ali Shabib. Oooops!try Muhamad Hussein Al-Haj Nassif. No, try Faddi Al Jazzar or Hassan Shateri. No, he was Iranian.

By definition, ,Maghrib Egyptians,Palestinians,etc, are not Arabs. You might want to open an ARAB history book and read the definition of Arab.A good start would be Yemenite history.Don't confuse "Arab world" with "Muslim world".You can go back and forth till the end of time parading Palestinians as Arabs (by your definition),while I have more "rights"to Palestine than most Palestinians. One side of my family, (Shlush)came to Palestine in 1723 from Algiers. i am shocked to read in 2013 posts of "Jews go back to Europe". I am a forgiving man, so I consider Miranda, a good person, though very misinformed.
It Is futile to have a discussion with someone who Is not even knowledgeable about their own surroundings.
Even If"Israel"as you spell It, were to disappear, I am very pessimistic that Arabs In this part of the world would live In any more peace and harmony
than now.Just a thought.

Where did I mention Jews in my post, Zionist? Also, spare me the fake concern for the Arab people and their well-being.

Well Activist4Justice first start yourself by clearly stating your identity.

You say ... but Israel would have targeted Nasrallah rather than al-Laqqis. And why so? He was the Air Defence Commander, surely a prime target? Don’t you think that your beloved entity must have a list of targets and engage with them in an opportunistic manner? if of course it is the Entity.

You should also read again this article as it clearly states that it could have used a local proxy, which seems to be credible as it seems at this stage that many groups and states have at this stage "des convergences d'interets".

Whoever did it, considering who that commander was, this assassination objectively helps the Zionists.

If hizbullah were interested in peace, they would have declared victory when israel pulled out of southern lebanon in 2000. But desire to remain relevant, and being iranian proxies,led them underestimate the survival instinct and determination of israel to exist. In the next war,i foresee unbearable destruction on lebanon because hizbullahs' cat and mouse games with israel.

I guess we can now say thank you to those who are doing their best to liberate Lebanon from such vermin's.
What I find rather amusing in the article is that Hezbollah thinks that only Israel and no one else is their enemy. Even the story confirms that the attackers were not Israelis, Hezbollah is quickly eager to point out that whoever was behind that killed Hassan al-Laqqis was Israel. It may well have been, but Israel would have targeted Nasrallah rather than al-Laqqis. My analysis tells me that whoever did plunk five bullets into al-Laqqis was anything to do with Israel, although I must equally admit that no one in Israel is shedding a tear for what transpired. The killing was more so done by those representing a yet to be disclosed Arab Lebanese group who like everyone that's not a Hezbollah supporter and will eventually come forth. Then there is an additional element that we need to look at. It is the Lebanese army, as they too have easy access to the Hezbollah high command.
But we all know that Hezbollah cannot afford to name those that consider Hezbollah loose cannons like the Saudis and company. Let the people in Lebanon rejoice for there’s now one less sewer rat in the Hezbollah group.
I do expect to be called of kind of names from those that are supporters of Hezbollah. But then we live in a democracy so let those who are clearly state their identity and not hide behind a fictitious barrier of protection.

One less sewer rat? You have an odd perspective on reality and flatter your ramblings by calling it "analysis". Even your name "Activist4justice" betrays your duplicitous nature and is a typical abuse of language so typical of Mossad and similar Israeli myth makers who indulge in that Orwellian "activity". Your acceptance of murder and lack of respect for the victim illustrates your warped concept of "justice" and, again betrays your allegiance. An effective and courageous resistance leader, who ably defended his country from belligerent external aggressors, has been gunned down by agents of that fascist Israeli entity. The attackers and their sponsors more closely resemble the sewer rat who crawls from its filth and slinks back into its filth after committing its crimes. I send a message of deepest sympathy to the mourning family and one of solidarity with the continuing resistance of Hezbollah. They have my prayers and you have my contempt.

One less Sewer Rat indeed. he may well have been an effective and courageous resistance leader in Hezbolla's eyes, but contrary to your statement he did not defend anything here in Lebanon, but rather endangered us, as we are now becoming more and more divided because of Hezbollah. We call him a Sewer Rat simply because he hides in a cave just like a Sewer Rat. And by the way, We in Lebanon and not the Israelis first nick-named Nasrallah a Sewer rat. Last but not least, your prayers will do nothing except demonstrate how far away your prospective is in retrospect to the reality of what is happening in our country. As for your contempt, it went into our Lebanese ears and out the other.

you hide behind an alias to call people "sewer rats", preemptively victimize yourself because you think you're worthy enough to be called a name, let alone names, and then you ask them to clearly state their identity. that's almost as cheap as your analysis above.

Sewer Rats are those that hide in caves and strike the innocent at night. I don't hide behind an alias. My name is Talal. That's all you need to know. I live in London and I am Lebanese. It is my right to call those that hide in the sewers "RATS".

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