Beirut's Great Mystery

Who Killed Rafiq Hariri? As Lebanon prepares to vote, here's the inside story of the forces that led to the murder of the nation's most charismatic leader

The summons came down from Damascus last August, informing Rafiq Hariri, then the Prime Minister of Lebanon, that he was wanted for a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. For years Hariri had strived to maintain cordial relations with Lebanon's more powerful neighbor, acquiescing to Syria's domination of Lebanese politics as the price of Syria's role in ending Lebanon's 15-year civil war. But by last summer Assad suspected that Hariri was behind an international campaign to end Syria's occupation of Lebanon, and so he decided to warn Hariri not to oppose Syrian plans to reassert its influence. In an exchange Hariri...

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