138. 4/18/1983

On April 18, 1983, a group of Shi’ite terrorists “drove a nondescript van next to the U.S. embassy in Beirut [Lebanon] and detonated a bomb consisting of two thousand pounds of high explosives, killing sixty-three people, including seventeen Americans. Among the casualties were most of the staff of the embassy’s CIA station, including the CIA’s top Middle East expert, Robert Ames, and the CIA station chief, Kenneth Haas. Decrypted Iranian diplomatic cables showed that [Iranian ambassador in Syria, Ali-Akbar] Mohtashami-Pur had been aware that an attack was being planned, that senior Iranian intelligence officials in Tehran had approved the attack, and that Tehran had transferred twenty-five thousand dollars to the Iranian embassy in Damascus [Syria] to finance the operation. Other NSA [National Security Agency] intercepts showed that the Iranian government had sent one million dollars to the embassy in Damascus, which was used to buy the explosives used in the car bomb attack.”

 – Matthew M. Aid, The Secret Sentry, Pages 178-179

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