Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sayyed Nasrallah: Israel behind Hariri's Assassination

I was hoping to get the full video of Hassan Nasrallah's press conference with English subtitles, but that is still being worked on; in the meantime, here is a good summary from al-Manar TV.

The Saker

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah accused on Monday the Israeli enemy of involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, presenting tangible proof and evidence of an Israeli potential role in the crime as well as other crimes that hit Lebanon during the few past years.

His eminence unveiled footage intercepted from Israeli surveillance planes of the site of the 2005 murder of ex-Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri prior to his assassination. Several clips, each minutes long and undated, showed aerial views of the coastline off west Beirut on various days prior to the Hariri assassination.

Sayyed Nasrallah was speaking during an exceptional press conference he held at Shahed hall in Beirut's southern suburb of Beirut. The conference, attended by media outlets' top editors and journalists, was set to mark political turning point in the case of Hariri's murder and open new horizons that the court could pick up and build on "if it wanted to be impartial."


His eminence started his speech by recalling that the Israeli enemy had been plotting to delude former PM Rafiq Hariri since 1993 and make him believe that Hezbollah wants to assassinate him. "In 1993, Hezbollah was organizing a protest in the southern suburb against the signing of the Oslo Accord, after which clashes broke out. At the time, tension increased between Rafiq Hariri and Hezbollah. An Israeli agent at the time told Hariri that Hezbollah wants to kill him and mentioned the name of Imad Mugniyah."

Sayyed Nasrallah was pointing to Israeli spy Ahmad Nasrallah who was arrested and interrogated by the Resistance in 1996. "After interrogating Ahmad Nasrallah and his confession of photographing houses of Hezbollah leaders, he also admitted that he had been blackmailing Hariri. He admitted that he had been trying to control the course of Hariri's motorcade through deluding him into believing that Hezbollah wants to murder him," his eminence said.

Hezbollah Secretary General went on to reveal that spy Ahmad Nasrallah deluded the former Prime Minister into thinking that Hezbollah had a plan to assassinate his sister, MP Bahia Hariri, and hence to force him to go to Sidon to receive condolences so that he would be assassinated there.

"We handed over Hezbollah member Abu Hassan Salameh to the Syrians over a false claim by Ahmed Nasrallah that Salameh had been plotting to murder Hariri, but later on we found out that Salameh was innocent," Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized.

To document the words of Sayyed Nasrallah, a first video was broadcast, showing the Israeli spy Ahmad Nasrallah giving his revelations himself. The video showed the spy confessing that his claims to former PM Rafiq Hariri that Hezbollah aimed to kill him were mere lies. He acknowledged working for Israel and saying that he was asked by his Israeli handlers to warn Hariri's men of the assassination plot.


Hezbollah Secretary General then turned to the second part of the press conference, the part in which he would directly accuse the Israeli enemy of standing behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

After showing another video of Israeli accusations against Hezbollah of involvement in Hariri's murder, Sayyed Nasrallah decided to change the roles, pointing out that Israel has the capability to carry out an operation like the one that targeted former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri on February 14, 2005.

"Israel has the capability to carry out this type of operations, such as Hariri's assassination and the other assassinations that targeted Lebanon during the few past years," Sayyed Nasrallah said, recalling that Israel's history was full of assassination operations against high-ranking figures and leaders.

While noting that it has become known that Israel has plenty of spies in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the Zionist entity also had the motive because the Resistance is Israel's major enemy. "It has an animosity toward Syria, so it wouldn't miss a chance to create uproar. Israel wouldn't miss a chance to create uproar and use Hariri's blood to drive Syria out of Lebanon and besiege the Resistance," his eminence said.

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah quoted Syrian President Bachar Assad as personally telling him that an Arab leader in 2004, before the issuing of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, informed him that the US does not mind keeping Syrian forces in Lebanon, but on two conditions: disarming Hezbollah and Palestinian factions in Lebanon. "Assad told them that Hezbollah is part of Lebanon's national security, hence he denied the US' request. Then came the project to force Syria out of Lebanon and isolate Hezbollah."

Speaking about Israel's methods of operation, Hezbollah Secretary General noted that the Israeli enemy has wiretapping devices, aerial and field surveillance in addition to logistic support to carry out the assassination operation in the Lebanese interior.


In a third part, Hezbollah Secretary General pointed to revelations made by the Israeli collaborators, who were arrested between 2009 and 2010, in an attempt to answer the question about intelligence operations conducted in Lebanon after 2004.

Philippos Hanna Sader, who was born in 1964, was the first spy highlighted during the press conference. He started spying for the Israeli enemy in 2006 and was arrested in 2010 by the Lebanese authorities. His role was to gather information about the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and political figures. Israel assigned him to collect information about President Michel Sleiman's house and its distance from the shore and about Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji's yacht. "Israel is interested in performing assassination operations near the seafront," Sayyed Nasrallah said, commenting the data. "Does a spy inspect a site only to gather information, or to also plot for a certain operation?" his eminence wondered.

The second spy presented in the press conference was Said Tanios Alam. He was arrested in 2009 and confessed to collecting information about Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea and Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He started spying for the Israeli enemy in 1990. He was asked to monitor Geagea and to determine when Hariri visits him according to official investigations led by the Lebanese authorities, not Hezbollah. "Why does Israel want to monitor Saad Hariri and Samir Geagea, who are March 14 leaders?" Sayyed Nasrallah wondered, commenting the data revealed. "This is the answer for the people asking why March 14 members were the ones who were assassinated. The answer is that Israel wants the blame to fall on Syria and Hezbollah," his eminence said.

Other spies highlighted during the press conference were Nasser Nader, Fayssal Maqlad, Adib Alam and his wife Hayat. Nader, who was arrested in 2009, confessed to being involved in the 2004 killing of Hezbollah official Ghaleb Awali. Maqlad confessed to harboring Israeli troops in Lebanon and transporting weapons. Alam confessed to monitoring Lebanese regions as well as being involved, along with his wife, in the killing of Islamic Jihad Movement officials Mahmoud and Nidal al-Majzoub in 2006 in Saida.

While noting that the revelations made by the spies, although they only constitute a sample, confirm that Israeli intelligence operations in Lebanon didn't stop during the last few years in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah called for collecting the spies' confessions in order to draw a diagram of their work.

"As Israel murdered the Hariri and civil strife didn't erupt, the enemy planned to murder the Shiite Speaker Nabih Berri to drag Lebanon into the strife which didn't occur after Hariri's death," his eminence warned.


"The secret I want to reveal tonight is that before 1997, Hezbollah was able to catch an Israeli spy plane photographing South Lebanon and sending them to an Israeli operations center," Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say.

"Before 1997, the Resistance managed to capture the transmission of an MK drone and we managed to access this transmission which enabled us of capturing the images transmitted by the drone as the enemy's operation room was receiving them," Hezbollah Secretary General explained.

"The capturing of the MK drone images by the Resistance's operation room led to the foiling of the enemy's amphibious assault on Ansariyeh on September 5, 1997," Hezbollah Secretary General revealed, before showing details of the Ansariyeh operation and explaining how this tactic helped the Resistance fighters foil the Israeli attempt.


Hezbollah Secretary General then turned to the most sensitive part of the press conference: tangible proof showing the Israeli enemy carefully monitoring the movements of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and his locations.

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah unveiled footage intercepted from Israeli surveillance planes of the site of the 2005 murder of ex-Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri prior to his assassination.

"Israeli drones had carefully monitored the movements of Hariri's motorcade in Beirut and on the Farayya-Faqra road," Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out. "Was that a coincidence?" his eminence wondered. "Such footage generally comes as the first leg of the execution of an operation."

Several clips, each minutes long and undated, showed aerial views of the coastline off west Beirut on various days prior to the Hariri assassination. "Are there any Hezbollah offices in these areas monitored by Israel? Why is Israel monitoring these locations?" Sayyed Nasrallah wondered.


This is not everything: another revelation is to be made by Sayyed Nasrallah. "We have definite information on the aerial movements of the Israeli enemy the day Hariri was murdered. Hours before he was murdered, an Israeli drone was surveying the Sidon-Beirut-Jounieh coastline as warplanes were flying over Beirut," his eminence declared.

A video broadcast in this regard shows that Israeli reconnaissance planes flew over Saida on February 13, 2005, while several warplanes flew over Beirut hours before Hariri was killed. On February 14, 2005, an Israeli AWACS plane flew over Beirut along with another Israeli spy plane.

"This video can be acquired by any investigative commission to ensure it is correct. We are sure of this evidence, or else we would not risk showing it," Sayyed Nasrallah said, hinting that Hezbollah keeps other evidence and secrets to be revealed at the appropriate time.


"We have evidence that Ghassan al-Jedd, an alleged Israeli spy who hosted Israeli operations teams, was present at the Rafiq Hariri crime scene," Sayyed Nasrallah revealed. "We presented the evidence to the Lebanese authorities, but Jedd escaped from Lebanon before he was caught," his eminence added.

Jedd was born in 1940 and became an Israeli spy in the early 1990s, before he escaped from Lebanon in 2009. He hosted Israeli officers in Lebanon. In March 2004, Israeli officers entered Lebanon through the sea and were hosted by Jedd for 50 hours in a location in Mount Lebanon.


Asked about Hezbollah reaction in case the Special Tribunal for Lebanon decided to simply ignore the evidences presented, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that would prove the Resistance party's belief that the STL was politicized.

Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that Hezbollah does not trust the international tribunal. "However, if the Lebanese government is willing to form a Lebanese commission to investigate the matter, we will cooperate," his eminence said. "There are some who spent $500 million in Lebanon to distort the image of Hezbollah. That's why we're engaging ourselves in a battle for public opinion, especially that some are working night and day to defend Israel's innocence