It wasn't until late 2007 that the awkwardly titled UN International Independent Investigation Commission actually got around to some serious investigating.According to the report, after the UN was unable to get any solid leads, it was Capt. Wissam Eid who alone assembled the evidence that showed Hezbollah's involvement
By then, nearly three years had passed since the spectacular public murder of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri.
. He got the phone records of all of the cellphones registered with the cell towers in the area of the explosion, deleting those of those who were killed, in Hariri's entourage and those with alibis--resulting in a list of the 'red' phones used by the actual hit team. He then traced which cellphone towers the red phones had used prior to the assassination and was able to determine that the people using them had been tracking Hariri.
Eid also discovered that each person with a red phone had a secondary phone, used to contact network of phones that had existed for at least a year--this was called the 'blue' network
The big break came when an electronics specialist working for Hezbollah--Abd al Majid al Ghamloush--used one of the blue phones. That slip led Eid to 2 brothers, Hussein and Mouin Khreis. Not only were both of them Hezbollah operatives--one of them had been at the site of the explosion.
Capt. Eid was able to continue identifying phones associated with the hit team and uncovered a third network--the 'yellows'--which constituted a longer-term surveillance team.
All this led to the discovery that everything he uncovered connected to land lines inside Hezbollah's Great Prophet Hospital in South Beirut, where Hezbollah is believed to have a command center. Furthermore, it was possible to identify a network of 'pink phones' that communicated with both the hospital and the other networks.
The pink phones themselves were issued by the Lebanese government--and when the record for these phones was obtained from the ministry of communications, it was found that in a long column of 6 digit numbers there were 4 which were highlighted, and beside them in Arabic was the word "Hezbollah".
It was at this point that Eid was contacted by Hezbollah, which claimed that some of the phones he was investigating were being used by Hezbollah as part of a counter-espionage operation against Mossad spy agency--and that he needed to back off.
That veiled warning was followed by a failed attempt to kill Lt.-Col Shehadeh, Eid's boss.
On January 25, 2008, Eid himself was murdered in an explosion.
The Washington Post notes that the CBC has been warned by a U.N. attorney that he would inform the Canadian authorities that the news agency had obtained privileged U.N. documents. Considering the fact that the UN at one point lost track of Eid's findings and that they failed to anticipate the danger he was in, it is understandable why the UN would not want details to leak out.
The other question of course is to what degree Syria and Iran are involved in the murder of Hariri--Hezbollah does not blow its nose, let alone its enemies, without the approval of its backers. But at this point, considering how the UN has allowed the trail to grow cold, it is unlikely that any linkage will be made.
More at Memeorandum
Technorati Tag: Rafik Hariri and Hezbollah and Wissam Eid.