UPDATE, 5/12/2016, 9:05 P.M.: Mustafa Bedreddine has reportedly been killed by an Israeli warplane near Damascus.
To close friends, he is “Dhu al-Faqar”—the name, meaning, “the cleaver of vertebrae,” of the legendary double-tipped sword given by the Prophet Muhammad to his son-in-law, Ali bin Abi Talib, the patron imam of Shia Islam. To the Kuwaiti government, who sentenced him to death in 1984 for a spate of audacious bombings on targets including the American and French embassies and the airport, he is Elias Fouad Saab. To prosecutors at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in The Hague, who are currently trying him in absentia on suspicion of assassinating Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri in 2005, he is Mustafa Amine Badreddine. To genteel dining companions—and multiple mistresses—entertained at his seaside home north of Beirut, he is the boat-owning, Mercedes-driving Christian jeweler, Sami Issa.
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