In the first two episodes of Ghosts of Beirut, we saw how Mughniyeh and his men were able to kill CIA local heads, William Buckley and Robert Ames, and it took the American government by surprise because they never expected that anybody would dare to mess with the CIA. But Mughniyeh and his men were a different breed of terrorists who didn’t hesitate to carry out suicide missions which in turn made them an even bigger threat. Lebanese-American CIA agent Lena Asaryan had made it her life’s mission to catch Mughniyeh, and she had been making quite a lot of progress, which brought her to the attention of the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad. So, let’s find out what exactly happened in the third episode of Ghosts of Beirut and if the CIA came any closer to finding the whereabouts of Mughniyeh.
How Did Lena Get Information From Daqduq?
Lena knew that she was very close to finding Imad Mughniyeh, and she desperately wanted Ali Reza Asgari to tell her everything he knew about the Ghosts of Beirut. Imad would surely have been one of the best operatives to have ever walked on the face of the earth because, for so many years, he had been able to conceal his identity, and the authorities didn’t have a single photograph of him in their official records. Lena was very sure that Imad was behind the kidnapping of the Americans that had happened in Karbala, Iraq, and she had an intuition that if she was able to capture the guy who executed the mission, then she would be able to get to Mughniyeh.
Ali Mussa Daqduq was the man behind the kidnappings, and Lena had been told by Asgari that he was hiding somewhere in Basra. Daqduq was one of the senior leaders of Hezbollah, and he had a one-on-one relationship with Mughniyeh. For many years, Daqduq had carried out several missions together with Mughniyeh, and that’s why Lena knew that he was one of the more significant pieces of the puzzle. Daqduq had to enter Iran with the four American men he had kidnapped, but the border was heavily guarded, and he knew that it was impossible to enter at that point in time. Daqduq called Mughniyeh and told him about the situation, and that’s when the latter ordered him to get rid of the Americans and go into hiding. Lena was able to catch Daqduq, and she brought him for interrogation at the local headquarters.
The FBI was interrogating him, and though Lena repeatedly told them to ask him questions about the whereabouts of Mughniyeh, they were more interested in finding out about his involvement in the bombings. Lena, too, tried interrogating him, but the man was a hard nut to crack, and he wasn’t willing to speak at all. That’s when Lena realized that she would have to loop in Mossad, as they would probably be able to get some kind of information from him. That’s when a Mossad agent named Teddy came into the picture, and he came into contact with Lena and decided to join forces to find Israel’s and America’s common enemy, The Ghost of Beirut. Teddy threatened Daqduq that he would take him to Israel if he did not cooperate in the investigation. Daqduq finally revealed that Imad and Qassem Suleimani had ordered the kidnappings of Karbala, and Imad was even present in the city at the time of the operation. It was a big breakthrough for both the CIA and Mossad, and though their respective organizations were against cooperating, Lena and Teddy knew that if they needed to find Imad Mughniyeh, they would have to work together.
How Did The CIA Locate Imad Mughniyeh?
Teddy never wanted to go back to doing field operations; he wanted to retire and live peacefully with his family. But his boss, Meir Dagan, convinced him to help their cause because he knew that Teddy understood the Americans more than anybody else in the agency. Dagan needed his expertise, and he also had a lot of faith in his abilities. Teddy told Meir and his colleague Sarah that he trusted Lena, even though they had doubts about her allegiances. Lena had a cousin who was a mid-level agent in the Shia Islamist militant group Hezbollah, and that is why Sarah believed that she was not a trustworthy person and would backstab Mossad when the time came. Even Lena was having a lot of trouble explaining to her bosses why she wanted to work with Teddy, but after a lot of convincing, she was able to make them agree.
The Mossad had a kind of intelligence-gathering installation at their disposal called Signit, which was capable of tracking people’s movements and intercepting communication happening over the entire Middle East region. This technology had given Mossad an edge above the rest, and though they didn’t know how Mughniyeh looked, they were able to track him through the movements of his entourage, which consisted of his chef, helpers, etc. The Mossad called it Mughniyeh’s star trail, and they had been doing it for the past decade. They had also been successful in intercepting calls between Mughniyeh and his wife Saada, and they had come to know that their marriage was on the verge of breaking down as Saada wasn’t happy with the state of things. Mughniyeh was visiting Damascus a lot because he was having an affair with a woman named Wafa. Qassem Suleimani had warned him about the implications of what he was doing, but Mughniyeh was head over heels for Wafa, and he was not ready to give up on her. Sulaimani told him that for years he had been able to hide his identity from each and every intelligence agency around the world because he was cautious, and never even once did he commit an act of negligence.
Even Saada had gotten a whiff that her husband was seeing someone else. She was also not happy with how he was conditioning his son to join his cause, as she didn’t want her son to have a life like his father’s. Saada hated how they had to change houses for security reasons every now and then. She was a simple woman who wanted to lead a peaceful and happy life, but all the time, she was stressed because she never knew where her husband was, as Mughniyeh was very secretive about his professional life. Saada wanted to confront her husband, but she was not getting the opportunity to do so, as Mughniyeh was always in Damascus. Saada got to know from one of Imad’s men that he was in Damascus, and she came there with her son Wissam to meet him. Mughniyeh was infuriated as he knew that it was not safe for him to meet them, but he had no choice as Saada was persistent. Teddy and his team had been tracking Wissam for quite some time, and as soon as they got to know that he was from Damascus, they informed Lena about it.
The Ghosts of Beirut finally came out of his den at the end of Episode 3, and it was the first time in history that any intelligence agency was able to take a photograph of him and get to know how he looked. It felt like a victory, and Lena shared the photographs she had clicked with Teddy as well. Leading into Ghosts of Beirut episode 4, we believe that Imad Mughniyeh won’t be able to hide from Mossad and the CIA for much longer. Mughniyeh was himself responsible for exposing his identity, and had he listened to Suleimani and been cautious, the intelligence agencies would have never gotten the better of him. Lena was not going to spare his life, as she blamed people like Mughniyeh for what had happened to her and her family back in the day. She had to seek refuge in the United States of America because extremists had made her life hell. Nobody likes being separated from their roots, but Lena and many others like her had no choice but to adapt. It was easy to hide for Mughniyeh when the agencies didn’t know how he looked, but we will have to see in the upcoming episodes what kind of tactics he would have to resort to in order to save himself from being caught.