Mugniyah's mother: I wish I had another shahid son
'We were anticipating news of Imad's death since he chose the path of resistance,' mother of assassinated Hizbullah commander says during his funeral. Iran, Syria establish joint task force to investigate killing; Hizbullah appoints successor, Lebanese security source says
The investigation conducted by Syrian security services into the assassination of arch-terrorist Imad Mugniyah is in its final stages, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Friday.
According to the report, Hizbullah representatives are helping in the investigation.
Meanwhile, Lebanese media outlets have released transcripts of statements made by the top Hizbullah commander's mother during his funeral on Thursday. The woman, who has lost two other sons besides Imad, was quoted as saying "I wish I had more sons to continue on the path."
The mother told a woman sitting beside her during the service that she met Imad for the last time just two days before his death by a car bomb in Damascus on Tuesday.
"He was sick and I gave him a shot," she said. "We were anticipating such news (Imad's death) since my son chose the path of resistance."
Funeral in Beirut (Photo: AFP)
A Lebanese security source said Friday that Hizbullah had appointed a successor to Mugniyah. According to the source, the appointment was made hours after the announcement of Mugniyah's death on Tuesday. He did not identify the successor who would now command Hizbullah's formidable and well-armed guerrilla army.
A successor to Imad Mugniyah has been appointed, which is natural," said the source, who requested anonymity. "That's how Hizbullah works, they move quickly to choose successors of fallen leaders."
The source said the successor was not one of the two names being circulated in the Israeli media. Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has threatened Israel with "open war" in retaliation for the killing.
Report: Iran, Syria investigating assassination
During the funeral Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said in his speech, which was broadcasted by a live video feed, that "Israel had made a mistake by assassinating Mugniyah just as it had made a mistake by killing my predecessor, Abbas Musawi." He vowed to retaliate against Israeli targets abroad.
In light of the threats, the Counter Terrorism Bureau at the Prime Minister's Office issued a worldwide travel advisory Thursday, warning Israelis against possible abduction attempts abroad.
According to Attar, the decision was made following discussions between Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and the Syrian leadership in Damascus.
Dudi Cohen and Reuters contributed to this report