We noted previously the Senior Hezbollah commander assassinated, Hassan Laqqis.

Hezbollah immediately blamed Israel. It certainly makes sense when you consider how professionally it was carried out. Unlike the Jihadis who blow up cars or themselves, the Laqquis hit was carried out precisely and using silenced weapons. The hit men (or women?) got into a heavily secured area without notice, and located their target late at night. There must have been precise intelligence not only as to his location, but his movements.

Even more impressively, the gunmen escaped without being captured. There must have been help to get them away from the scene, and likely out of the country, before Hezbollah security woke up to what had happened. So we are talking minutes to get out of the area, and hours to get out of the country.

While we cannot eliminate that the hit was carried out by Jihadis or some other intelligence service, it seems unlikely.

Foreign Policy magazine had an article asserting that Laqqis was on Israel’s Kill List:

There’ll be a summit conference in the sky,” smiled an Israeli intelligence official Wednesday morning when he learned of the assassination of Hassan Lakkis, the Hezbollah commander in charge of weapons development and advanced technological warfare, in a Beirut suburb around midnight on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The killing of Lakkis is yet another in the latest in a long series of assassinations of leading figures in what Israeli intelligence calls the “Radical Front,” which comprises two countries — Syria and Iran — and three organizations: Hezbollah, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hamas….

Back in 2004, the Mossad began identifying various key figures within this Radical Front — those with advanced operational, organizational, and technological capabilities. While other, better-known personalities in these extremist groups and their state backers dealt with strategy, these were the people who handled the details and the translation of strategy into actual practice.

The Israeli intelligence source, who dealt with the Radical Front, likens the anti-Israel coalition to SPECTRE, the fictional enemies of James Bond. With one difference: “SPECTRE usually did it for money.” Israeli intelligence drew up a list of these men, each one the possessor of highly lethal skills that could be threatening to Israel, even if there had not been a coordinated network embracing of all of them. The list was headed by two men: Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s supreme military commander, and Gen. Muhammad Suleiman, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s head of secret special projects, including the building of a nuclear reactor, and the person in charge of Syria’s ties with Iran and Hezbollah. As Meir Dagan, the former Mossad chief, told me: “Gen. Muhammad Suleiman was in charge of Assad’s shady businesses, including the connection with Hezbollah and Iran and all sensitive projects. He was a figure Assad was leaning upon. And these days, he misses him.”

After them came Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, head of missile development for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the export of missiles to Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad; Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the Hamas official in charge of tactical ties with Iran; and Hassan Lakkis (also spelled in FBI documents as Haj Hassan Hilu Laqis), who was identified by Aman in the early 1990s as Hezbollah’s weapons development expert. In an article about Lakkis’s death, Lebanon’s Daily Star called him a “key figure in Hezbollah[‘s] drone program.” The Israeli intelligence source continued the analogy with the Bond movies and called him “Hezbollah’s Q.”

Iranian television also is focusing on the professional nature of the job:

The question is, what will Hezbollah do now? Given its many problems fighting in Syria and the spillover into Lebanon, it presumably doesn’t want a major conflict. Expect some other form of retaliation, perhaps along the Golan border, where Hezbollah can exact retaliation without its fingerprints. Perhaps that already has happened, Bomb on Israeli-Syrian border was aimed at IDF patrol.

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