On one occasion, the intelligence chief of the Lebanese Interior Ministry, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, had a lucky escape. On February 14, 2005, he did not join the ill-fated convoy of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The explosion that terrified Beirut that day and wreaked havoc on the state took Hariri's life and left Lebanon in a daze from which it has yet to recover.