Sunday, November 11, 2012

More on Wissam Al-Hasan

"Sources close to the tribunal say that al-Hassan originally stood at the top of the list of suspects in the Hariri attack. Indeed, investigators found it rather odd that Hariri's head bodyguard would go missing in action on the day he died. What's more, they established that al-Hassan spoke on the phone 24 times on the morning of Hariri's death even though he claimed he had to study for the university exam. An internal STL document says that al-Hassan's statements are "not very convincing" and have led to doubts about his alibi.
Still, the fact that he was far away when the attack occurred and that Saad Hariri believed his oath of loyalty was somehow enough to get al-Hassan out of the line of fire. Likewise, before long, he became the special tribunal's most important informant, providing investigators with details about the type of explosive used and recordings from mobile phones at the scene of the attack. The phone calls would eventually be matched to four members of Hezbollah -- and spell the downfall of them all.
In June 2011, the STL brought indictments against these four men ....
However, such investigations weren't enough for al-Hassan. He soon became one of the most important political players in the region, forging some astonishing alliances along the way. For example, he arranged a meeting between Saad Hariri and Syrian President Bashar Assad. After the meeting, the former refrained from making any more vehement accusations that Syria was behind his father's murder. What's more, in a move that was highly unusual in terms of protocol, al-Hassan himself had a private conversation with Assad in Damascus.
At the same time, al-Hassan maintained extremely close ties with top-level officials in the intelligence apparatus of Saudi Arabia, which holds a critical stance toward the Syrian regime. Likewise, some Middle East insiders have even claimed that al-Hassan had ties to the Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence agency...."