LEBANON: An Imam Is Missing

And the mystery troubles Middle East relations

Where is he? That question, in bold Arabic script, was written across posters displayed on walls throughout the Muslim areas of Lebanon last week. They portrayed Imam Moussa Sadr, 50, the beloved leader of the country's 900,000-strong Shi'ite Muslim community, who inexplicably disappeared in late August. So long as the question of his whereabouts remained unanswered, the mystery of the missing Imam threatened to trouble relations between Lebanon, Libya and Iran—and possibly other nations as well.

The mystery began when the Imam and two aides flew from Beirut to Tripoli, ostensibly to attend ceremonies commemorating...

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