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More on Der Spiegel Report

May 27, 2009

I promise to move on to something else soon, but over the past 24 hours new information has come to my attention that suggests the Der Spiegel report may be accurate.  However, when assessing the veracity of the report we must ask two questions.  First, is the claim that the investigation has shifted its focus away from Syria and towards Hezbollah as the likely perpetrator true?  And second, did Hezbollah actually in fact carry out the assassination?

I spoke with a reliable Washington DC based analyst last night who said that he had heard several weeks ago that the investigation had shifted its focus from Syria to Hezbollah (meaning before the Der Spiegel report).  This was reportedly confirmed at the time by two independent and unrelated sources, one of which is in the US State Department. 

Also, in today’s paper, Asharq al-Awsat interviews Erich Follath, the author of the Der Spiegel report.  Follath affirms the veracity of the report, claiming that the documents on which he based his claims on were “original and not copied”.

Based on the above information I’m beginning to think that the investigation has indeed shifted its focus towards Hezbollah.  As I mentioned above, this does not mean that Hezbollah did in fact carry out the assassination.  The investigation has clearly suspected Syria for some time and also pursued other possibilities such as the involvement of Palestinian groups or al-Qaeda.  Serge Brammertz infamously wasted months trying to determine whether or not a bomb was detonated below ground.  Likewise it is possible that the puported Hezbollah link will prove a dead end.

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