DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 7, 2011
The UN Special Lebanon Tribunal was asked to define crimes of terrorism, conspiracy and premeditated murder at its first hearing in the Netherlands Monday, Feb. 7. Its responses will for the first time define terror as an international crime. debkafile's report that within days, pretrial Judge Daniel Fransen is to publish indictments in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minster Rafiq Hariri. The judges have therefore jumped the gun on Hizballah. A showdown looms large in Lebanon too.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 4, 2011
A joint Hizballah-Hamas unit used the havoc in Egypt to storm the Wadi Natrun prison north of Cairo Sunday, Jan. 30, and break out 22 members of the Hizballah's spy-cum-terror network, tried and convicted in Egypt for plotting terrorist attacks in Cairo, the Suez Canal and Suez cities and on Israeli vacationers in Sinai in 2007-2008, debkafile reports. They are back in Gaza. Muslim Brotherhood inmates were also freed to boost the anti-Mubarak street protests now in their second week.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 21, 2011
Hizballah's campaign against the Hariri Tribunal and the Lebanese government may have gone too far. Syria's Bashar Assad has withdrawn his support in favor of bolstering Saad Hariri and Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is planning to murder him to save is own skin from the tribunal.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 19, 2011
With minutes to spare, Hizballah called off its plan Wednesday night, Jan. 19, to lay siege to UN offices in Beirut and UNIFIL patrols in the South, debkafile's military sources report. It was planned to blackmail the UN Secretary into reassessing the UN tribunal's indictments of Hizballah officials for the murder of Rafiq Hariri six years ago, after the tribunal warned that the state of Lebanon would be held accountable for flouting its orders, whichever government was in power.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 16, 2011
Hizballah's Hassan Nasrallah, in his first speech on the Lebanese crisis, said Sunday night, Jan. 16 that the "opposition-resistance" camp would form a government without Said Hariri, the prime minister he toppled last week, and "exercise its own national convictions." debkafile: Hizballah's determination to finish the pro-Western Hariri for good is backed by the Syrian president as a means of derailing Obama administration goals for Lebanon.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 15, 2011
Lebanon's ex-prime minister Saad Hariri arrived home in the middle of a hectic race by Hizballah's leader Hassan Nasrallah to install an alternative pro-Iranian-Syrian government in order to fend off indictments against his top officials for the murder of Saad Hariri's father six years ago. Hizballah believes a bloodless coup through parliament will enable him to invalidate the Special Lebanese Tribunal, whose prosecutor is expected to hand his findings to the pre-trial judge momentarily.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 14, 2011
Despite the ill-fated American involvement in Lebanon of former years, the Obama administration believes he can beat Tehran at its own game by backing the pro-Western coalition headed by Saad Hariri and bringing his father's assassins, Hizballah, to justice. Tehran is banking on Hizballah's prowess as the strongest military force in Lebanon.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 13, 2011
President Barack Obama is bent on bringing Hizballah officials to justice for their role in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in Beirut five years ago – even after they toppled the Lebanese government. If a transitional government in Beirut declares the international tribunal – STL – invalid, Washington intends to obtain its authorization for trying Hizballah suspects in abstentia, debkafile reports. Prime Minister Hariri flew Thursday from Paris to Ankara.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 12, 2011
Backed from Tehran, Hizballah and its Christian ally Michel Aoun abruptly quit the Lebanese unity government Wednesday, Jan. 12, to pave the way for their seizure of power in Beirut. They struck as the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's prosecutor prepared to hand over "within hours or days" indictments naming Hizballah officials in the Hariri assassination. The US and France are bolstering their naval units ready for a showdown over Beirut. Israel is on standby.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 23, 2010
After studying Israel's military exercise near the Syrian-Lebanese border last week, Tehran transferred a team of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Special Engineers from Syria to Lebanon for recommendations on how its lessons should be applied to Hizballah's war array, debkafile reports. Some 20-30 Iranian officer-engineers are examining Hizballah fortifications sector by sector. The Israeli exercise simulated a drive into Lebanon by IDF infantry and armored forces in the event of a large-scale Hizballah incursion into N. Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2010
In his speech Thursday, Dec. 16, Hassan Nasrallah sounded like his usual pugnacious self, damning America and forecasting an Israeli defeat in the next war. He even staged a dramatic backdrop of "Israeli spy equipment" dismantled on two Lebanese peaks that very day. But, according to debkafile's sources, it was all a show to conceal his surrender to the UN tribunal investigating the 2005 murder and his instruction to high-ranking Hizballah suspects to turn themselves in.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 16, 2010
The espionage devices found on Mount Sannine, northeast of Beirut and Barouk Mountain in the Chouf east of the capital, and dismantled by the Lebanese army Wednesday, Dec. 15 after receiving a tipoff from Hizballah, were there to detect and keep track of ground-to-ground missiles installed and operating in central and western Syria and all of Lebanon, debkafile's intelligence sources report. The photos released show no sign of the winter conditions prevailing in the region.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 30, 2010
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri ended his two-day visit to Tehran Monday, Nov. 29, with consent for Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers to take part for the first time in coordinating sessions between Lebanese army and Hizballah commanders, debkafile's military and Iranian sources report. Supreme leader AliKhamenei gave Hariri his new orders, indicating that the only way to save Lebanon from deathly internal strife was for him to consolidate relations with Hizballah "as the same front."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 25, 2010
Lebanese Director of Intelligence Col. Wissam al Hassan has been a Hizballah mole has since 2004, keeping his masters a few steps ahead of American and Arab Middle East activities. The Lebanese tribunal found himself also in charge of Rafiq Hariri's security at the time of his murder in 2005.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 22, 2010
Israeli Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin warned the Israel cabinet Sunday, Nov. 21: "Tel Aviv will be a front line in the next conflict." debkafile's military sources report he was referring to the thousands of missiles with enhanced ranges of 300 kilometers Syria and Hizballah have received from Iran and which Iranian engineers are outfitting with guidance systems to challenge Israel's aerial capabilities and missile defenses. Syria's chemical warheads are now fully guided.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 12, 2010
Hizballah's Iranian commander, Gen. Hossein Mahadavi of Al Qods Brigades, has , , , ha polished a plan for seizing power in Beirut just before the UN tribunal delivers indictments for top Hizballah officers' trial in the murder of Rafiq Hariri. Joint Hizballah, Syrian and Iranian forces are practicing the seizure of Lebanese key points, including border crossings.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 10, 2010
Hizballah's top four commanders await indictment by the UN Special Tribunal for the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, debkafile's exclusive sources reveal. The STL expects to issue the indictments next month or early January 2011. If Hizballah makes good on its threat to forcibly overthrow the Lebanese government and so preempt its officers' extradition, Lebanon may find itself governed by terrorists also inculpated for political assassination by an international tribunal.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 2, 2010
In his farewell briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Tuesday, Nov. 2, departing Israel Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin listed the threats to Israel as headed by Iran. But he warned that Syria is buying advanced Russian self-propelled air defense missiles with long-range optical and targeting ranges that would encumber the Israeli Air Force warplanes' freedom of action in an emergency.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 1, 2010
Hizballah last Thursday, Oct. 28, conducted a command exercise in all parts of Lebanon to test its armed militia's readiness for what its leaders called "zero hour" i.e. asserting its grip on Lebanon and "cornering" Prime Minister Saad Hariri. DEBKA's sources report: It led up to Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah's sabre-rattling speech that night threatening the Hariri government and Israel with war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 25, 2010
In a sudden about-face, the Saudis Monday, Oct. 25, urged Lebanon's pro-Western Prime Minister Saad Hariri to step down without delay and make way for an administration dominated by pro-Syrian ministers and Hizballah. King Abdullah, according to debkafile's Middle East and Beirut sources, sees no other way of saving Lebanon from tipping over into bloody strife over Hizballah's demand to disband the international tribunal probing the 2005 murder of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.