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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 9th September 2016 > DEATH BY PROXY


The cold war between Iran and Saudi Arabia is heating up—good news for jihadis, bad news for the next U.S. president
THE OTHER WAR: Saudi Arabia presents its intervention in Yemen as a reaction to Iranian meddling in the country, and it has brushed off criticism over the high number of civilian casualties.

ONE YEAR AGO, Ahmed Ibrahim al-Mughassil prepared to board a flight from Beirut to Tehran, Iran’s capital. Before he could, foreign intelligence agents who had slipped into the country weeks earlier snatched him and whisked him back to their capital, where to this day he sits in detention.

The men who carried out the arrest were from Al-Mukhabarat al-A’amah—the foreign intelligence service of the House of Saud, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al-Mughassil is a Saudi Shiite and a member of the military arm of the Iran-funded extremist group Saudi Hezbollah, which seeks the downfall of the royal family in Riyadh. And his arrest had been a long time coming—nearly 20 years, in fact. Al-Mughassil is accused of being the ringleader of the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, in which 19 U.S. servicemen were killed. Al-Mughassil immediately fled to Tehran after that blast, and, according to regional intelligence sources, has remained under Iranian and Hezbollah protection ever since, mainly in Beirut.

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