On 14 February 2005, a truck bombing in Beirut, Lebanon killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others, causing injury to dozens more. Widely credited with leading Lebanon out of its 15-year civil war, Hariri had stepped down in 2004 over Syrian interference in Lebanon and pressure to keep the Syrian-backed President in office. His death sparked a chain of demonstrations known as the Cedar Revolution and the eventual withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country in April 2005, but the subsequent investigation of his assassination led to further political turmoil.
In September 2004, the Security Council called for free and fair presidential elections in Lebanon, disbanding of militias, and the withdrawal of foreign (Syrian) forces from the country (UNSCR 1559). On 15 February 2005, a day after the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, the Security Council President issued a statement (S/PRST/2005/4) calling on the Government of Lebanon to bring to justice those responsible and requesting the Secretary-General to report on the circumstances, causes, and consequences of the terrorist act. As the former colonial power, France, whose President Chirac was particularly close to Hariri, was especially active in pursuing the issue. The Secretary-General sent a fact-finding mission to Beirut in late February. Their final report, delivered in late March 2005, recommended the establishment of an independent international investigation into the attack. The UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) to gather evidence and assist the Lebanese authorities in their investigation of the February 14 terrorist attack was established on 7 April 2005 by UNSCR 1595. The first report of the Commission, delivered on 19 October 2005, pointed to the involvement of Lebanese and top-ranking Syrian security officials in the attack (S/2005/662).
The analysis of the Lebanon case is divided into the following episodes (navigatable via the numbers in the top bar):
Episode 1 (31 Oct 2005 - Present)