Kidnapping of CIA officer William F. Buckley
Beginning around 1983 and lasting through the decade, almost 100 foreign nationals were taken against their will in Lebanon -- and Mughniyeh was behind some of the most high-profile kidnappings. The hostage-taking may have originated as a means to prevent the United States from retaliating for the 1983 U.S. Marine Barracks bombing, but hostages were also used to extract political and financial concessions from the United States and Israel.
Buckley was kidnapped on the morning of March 16, 1984, when leaving his Beirut apartment to go to work. As the CIA's station chief in Beirut since 1983, he had been a target of Islamic Jihad since the group discovered his presence in the country, and he remained one of the most high-profile hostages to be taken by the group during its spate of kidnappings in the 1980s.
Buckley's kidnapping reverberated through the U.S. intelligence community, as the CIA sought -- and spent a "small fortune" -- in failed attempts to retrieve him. He is believed to have been severely tortured for information while captive -- a statement released by Islamic Jihad claimed the group had amassed "volumes written with (Buckley's) own hand and recorded on videotapes."
The above photograph of Buckley was distributed by Islamic Jihad, along with a two-page typed communiqué announcing his execution on Oct. 4, 1985. He is believed to have died four months earlier, in June 1985, while in captivity.