Last Friday, the Lebanese-based Shi’ite terror network Hezbollah announced that Mustafa Amine Badreddine, its chief military commander in Syria, had been killed by an explosion near Damascus.
The immediate question in the minds of international political analysts around the globe was who was responsible for Badreddine’s death?
And, of course, the immediate suspect was Israel, which had good reason to want to see the homicidal Badreddine dead (in his early years, he masterminded countless bloody attacks on the Jewish state and was responsible for the innumerable deaths of innocent Israeli civilians, including men, women and children).
Moreover, Mossad — in a joint operation with the CIA — is alleged to have been responsible for the death of Badreddine’s cousin, brother-in-law, mentor and benefactor Imad Mughniyeh in a Damascus car bombing in 2008.
And certainly, Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet are not tearing their clothes and sitting shiva over the death of Badreddine.
But while Israel was clearly not dismayed by the Hezbollah assassin’s death, it wasn’t the only candidate for having executed his auspicious elimination.
Indeed, the list of “usual suspects” in Badreddine’s assassination is long and multifaceted, and even Hezbollah revised its original finger-painting at Israel over the weekend to state that its barbarous butcher was instead killed by “jihadists,” although exactly which jihadists it was referring to is anybody’s guess at this point.
Badreddine has no shortage of enemies.
The United States wanted him dead for his alleged involvement in an October 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut that killed 241 people.
Badreddine was also linked to attacks on U.S. and British forces in Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Lebanon also wanted to see him six feet under for his crucial involvement in the 2005 car bombing of its pro-Western former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, an act for which Badreddine was on trial in absentia before a U.N. court.
No less hungry for Badreddine’s bloody was Kuwait, for his proxy participation in several Kuwaiti airline hijackings and a 1985 assassination attempt on then-Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah.
And then there are the jihadists.
Both al-Qaida and the Islamic State (both Sunni organizations) would have been none too sad to see Badreddine offed.
The same can be said for all the disjointed Syrian rebel groups that are fighting to dismantle the autocratic regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, which the Hezbollah commander was diligently helping to prop up.
And Saudi Arabia, which is leading the Islamic World’s fight against the Shi’ites and the Iranian-backed al-Assad, is no doubt also celebrating Badreddine’s timely demise.
Like the enigma of Mafioso Teamster Jimmy Hoffa, who disappeared in 1975, never to be seen again, the baffling mystery of who killed Badreddine may never be solved.
But to whoever was responsible for ridding the world of this callous mass murderer, kudos for a job well done!
Thérèse Margolis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.