Climbdown: Britain knew Mossad used fake passports for Dubai assassination

That’s the news from Haaretz. It’s all kabuki theater in the name of diplomatic cover. The matter will disappear from the headlines within days.

About Bruce Wolman

Bruce Wolman is a citizen journalist who has lived in Norway and the Washington area.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 83 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Chu says:

    What a surprise. More foot stomping from Gordon Brown.
    “well get to the bottom of this!”
    In the least, Mossod was given a new celebrity status profile.
    I imagine that some Hollywood director is thinking of a new
    television miniseries on the Mossod. They” portray the Mossad
    as cool. What an opportunity.

  2. Oscar says:

    Bruce — not sure this gets Mossad off the hook. They only let MI6 know “mere hours” before the assassination. (In this world of disinformation, how do we know even THAT happened? Could be some post-mortem cleanup on the part of MI6 to take heat off the Israelis.) From your post, I had the sense that Britain was in on it from the planning stages and tolerated use of its passports. I don’t think this is going to disappear from the headlines as quickly as you do — what about the unnamed American bank from which 6 credit cards were issued . . . more intrigue to follow.

    • Bruce says:

      Oscar,

      Intelligence cooperation with Israel is very deep. The leak to Ha’aretz was not that MI6 was involved, it was a reminder that Mossad can embarrass MI6 as much as UK politicians can rebuke Israel. Moreover, Mossad even gave MI6 a warning something was up as courtesy. Did MI6 ask for any specifics? Show any concern? No, because these practices have already been settled between the parties.

      The US probably supports the assassination, so don’t expect any further investigation on those credit cards than on all those illegal tax deductions funneled to West Bank settlers.

      But what struck me was the message that Israel expects some condemnation for appearances sake. They can live with that. This is almost generous coming from the Netanyahu government.

      So that is what we are going to get. Some mild complaints. Then a burying of the story.

      Maybe the dual nationals whose passports were used can keep the issue on the frontpage, but I doubt it. Imagine what pressure they will soon face.

      Nearly bankrupt Dubai is not going to take on Israeli and Western intelligence agencies for very long.

      But I will be happy to admit I was wrong if something does come out of this.

      • potsherd says:

        Brits are saying they need the Mossad more than they need to protect their own citizens. When everyone knows that Mossad information is full of lies. Who’s in charge there – Tony Blair?

      • Danaa says:

        Bruce, that was a good point you made – the disclosure about notifying MI6 came from a Mossad personality, so obviously, it was a shot across the bow to the UK, should they show too much zeal in pursuing the forged passports matter.

        But regardless of the reaction from officials, there has been serious damage done to the integrity of the passport system as a reliable form of ID. Say you are an american citizen considering living in Israel. Would you be so comfortable having israeli immigration authorities have control of your passport for even an hour? can any dual citizen in Israel be happy knowing their passport, their ID, their ticket to freedom to move about the world, has been “farmed”?

        And what of tourists going to Israel?

        What of british real citizens (as opposed to the Israelis, for whom british passport is just a convenience)? how certain can they ever be that their ID’s are used for legitimate security measures rather than being farmed, sold, cloned or abused?

        To me, the ultimate damage and fall-out from this botched operation is to undermine trust in the global passport security system. But there’s also damage to Israel and the mossad’s reputation – with all those agents faces plastered on interpol and seered into our memories. So many agents for one unguarded guy.

        • Julian says:

          Botched? The man is dead and no one was arrested except for 2 Palestinians.
          The agents who probably look nothing like the pictures will be forgotten about in a month.

        • tree says:

          The pictures are of the agents, not of the average citizens whose identities they stole. The Dubai authorities also have retinal scans of at least 11 of them. The 12-18 agents are all compromised, and it took that many to get one unguarded solitary man, botch the attempt to make it look like a natural death, and get their photos plastered all over the globe. The only way they could have botched it worse is if the 4 goons who committed the murder failed at the killing.

        • syvanen says:

          I think mooser’s ziocaine description is more and more apt as time goes on. J here has lost the ability to critically analyze what happened — he lives in a Panglossian (or more correctly, deluded) world that can interpret any news as good for Israel. If he could face his predicament honestly he would probably blow a fuse.

        • MRW says:

          Danaa: ”But regardless of the reaction from officials, there has been serious damage done to the integrity of the passport system as a reliable form of ID. … knowing their passport, their ID, their ticket to freedom to move about the world, has been “farmed”?“

          It’s worse than that. The new passport system with biometrics IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is handled by Israeli or Israeli/US subsidiaries. The company that did the first pilot program in NJ was Israeli. “Because Israel has such fabulous security”…Yeah, tell that to those involved with the Xmas undiebomber and the shoebomber and 911.The association has since been scrubbed from the web as best they could, but you can still find it. All US passport info is already in Israeli databases.

        • Try new and improvedZiocaine™. “It’s guaranteed to cure what ails ya!”

        • Danaa says:

          MRW – would you happen to know the name of the Israeli company handling the biometrics? I’ll google the rest.

        • MRW says:

          Danaa – It’s an Israeli-based company. They did the passport pilot in NJ for biometric passports. They were testing them at Newark. I copied all the info about this but it’s on another drive that is too problematic to get to now. When I went back to the story online one time, all reference to Israel was out of it, but that’s easy to suss out. It was in the 2001-2003 timeframe.

          I remember it because I was so shocked that a foreign country had anything to do with US passports. There was a whole yammer-yammer discussion about how private info that goes into a passport processing was going to be protected.

          I’ll google and see if I can find anything. I think the company name began with R.

  3. dalybean says:

    Dubai is letting the information out on its own timetable and says it will release the proof of Israeli involvement in due course. The EU countries will be forced to enact diplomatic consequences at that point. Britain has indeed said they will not do anything without proof.

    • Avi says:

      Should proof be offered at some point in time, the British can then play the “define proof” game.

    • tree says:

      Didn’t Israel just admit their involvement in the Haaretz piece above?
      After all, if they are trying to spread the blame around by saying that Britainn was informed of the operation before it happened, then they are admitting that they assassinated al-Mabhouh.

    • MRW says:

      dalybean, good for Dubai. And Britain has one hammer jamming its cog: the British citizens to whom this was done are demanding an answer.

  4. jimby says:

    today in Ha’aretz

    Hamas: Palestinians linked to Dubai hit employed by Fatah strongman DahlanHamas: Hamas said Friday that the two Palestinians arrested in the killing of one of its operatives in Dubai are former members of the rival Fatah movement’s security forces with links to senior Fatah’s security official Mohammed Dahlan.

    Dubai police have said they arrested two Palestinians among 18 suspects in last month’s killing, which is widely believed to have been carried out by Israel’s Mossad. Dubai authorities have not identified the two Palestinians.

    A Hamas-affiliated Web site called the Palestine Information Center identified the two as Anwar Shheibar and Ahmad Hassanain.

    link to haaretz.com

  5. marc b. says:

    A bit left out of the Ha’aretz piece:

    The British source told the Mail he has known the Mossad man for more than 20 years and they met as part of a longstanding arrangement.

    He said British-Israeli intelligence relations were ‘jogging along very nicely when nobody knew – then it all became public’.

    The Israeli agent rejected suggestions that intelligence-sharing between the two nations might be damaged.

    He said Mossad was handling several sources within the UK Muslim community and added: ‘There is no question of jeopardising that information flow.’

    link to dailymail.co.uk

    UK intelligence services are letting a bunch of Mossad fruitcakes run around Britain. And I’m sure that they are only collecting intelligence on ‘the UK Muslim community’ and are providing a complete, unedited version of such intelligence to the UK.

    Just goes to show you that there is no intelligence in intelligence.

    • marc b. says:

      Oh, and another thing. I am still confused over this issue of the ‘fake’ passports. Do the reporters mean fake as in the sense of a forgery, or do they mean fake as in the passports are not valid as they have been issued under fraudulent pretences?

      • Citizen says:

        The passports are in the name of real people who have no clue their identity has been stolen. That’s the point, regardless how it was done.

        • jimby says:

          maybe duplicates from emabassies. i read that one of the men in israel said he has his p’port locked up. if so………. ??

        • marc b. says:

          That’s the point, regardless how it was done.

          No, that’s not the only point. As someone stated earlier, if the intelligence services are forging passports, then it can be presumed that terrorists and other criminal types will be able to do so as well, which calls into question the integrity of the whole security system. See this article from the Guardian on the UK passport:

          link to guardian.co.uk

          I don’t know if the Brits have updated their system since the article was written, but the UK does not follow the EU guidelines for passport protection.

          link to europarl.europa.eu

          On the other hand, if the Israelis obtained duplicate passports from the UK issuing authority, rather than forging the passports, this might also suggest deeper involvement of the UK authorities than has been represented. Maybe an agent of Israel working in the passport office needs to get the boot.

        • “…if the intelligence services are forging passports, then it can be presumed that terrorists and other criminal types will be able to do so as well, which calls into question the integrity of the whole security system.”

          And, maybe, some presumed terrorists and criminals are actually innocent. Like these unlucky guys?

        • Dan Kelly says:

          And, maybe, some presumed terrorists and criminals are actually innocent.

          They’re almost all innocent. The whole “war on terror” is an elaborate hoax, designed to demonize the Arab/Muslim world to make it ripe for military invasion, while simultaneously eroding civil liberties here at home.

          link to foreignpolicyjournal.com

          “Grounds for hope are not easily come by, but plentiful are the grounds for despair. My recent article, It Is Now Official: The U.S. Is A Police State, also received confirmation on February 16 with the appearance of Pulitzer prize-winning American journalist Chris Hedges interview with Russia Today on Information Clearing House. [Video]

          Asked about the Fahad Hashmi case, Hedges pointed out that Hashmi is a U.S. citizen whose every constitutional right has been violated just as if he were an “enemy combatant,” a designation used to justify holding non-Americans in indefinite detention. Moreover, Hedges reported that Hashmi is not being prosecuted for committing or planning an act of terror. He is being prosecuted “for what he believes,” or to be more precise Hashmi is being prosecuted for expressing dissent. The government’s evidence against him is tape recordings of speeches he made at Brooklyn College as a student activist denouncing U.S. policies.

          These tapes will be played to a patriotic jury likely to convict him for being a Muslim and an anti-American.

          As Hedges emphasizes, Hashmi’s conviction would make expression of dissent an indictable offense. If expressing dissent is a crime, then thinking it will also be a crime. The government will produce manuals for its police on how to read body language and facial expressions as indicators of thought crimes.

          The rapidity with which the U.S. is being transformed into a police state is astonishing. It has occurred under the guise of “the war on terror,” itself a product of 9/11. Americans were told that the police state regime was only for terrorists, but like RICO’s asset freezes, which were only for the Mafia, and the war on drugs’ asset forfeitures, which were only for drug lords, the suspension of constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties now extends to all.

          Americans regard such warnings as hyperbole. They think they are safe as long as they are not doing anything wrong. In other words, they think that anyone the government picks up must be guilty.

          This view shows a remarkable ignorance of the 20th century. Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet Gulag were full of people who had done nothing wrong. Many were people demonized for being of the wrong race and class. Others were people reported by envious neighbors or by someone settling a score. The system didn’t care, because it existed independently of any concerns about justice or security.”

          link to onlinejournal.com

        • annie says:

          if the Israelis obtained duplicate passports from the UK issuing authority, rather than forging the passports, this might also suggest deeper involvement of the UK authorities than has been represented.

          considering so far virtually nothing has been presented aside from the assertions of the israeli government. one lone anonymous “British security source” (who could be anyone and not even a government employee) who allegedly, according to the daily mail “has a track record of providing reliable information” …”told the Daily Mail”:

          ‘This is a serving member of Israeli intelligence. ‘He says the British Government was told very, very briefly before the operation what was going to happen. There was no British involvement and they didn’t know the name of the target. But they were told these people were travelling on UK passports.’

          tha daily mail has one supposed reliable source claiming a serving member of Israeli intelligence claims they told the UK. plus haaretz who probably also got their info from israeli sources. so what has ‘been presented’ is israeli claims. pardon me, but until some british source comes forward and hints they heard from someone other than an israeli..i’m not buying it. i don’t care if it was very, very briefly before the event or very, very, very, very briefly before the event. it sounds like total bullshit to me.

          the UK denies it, the daily mails sources source was a mossad operative, the haaratz headline and byline were both misleading because neither of them made clear the only source thus far is israel. the byline states :”U.K. denies Daily Mail claims Israeli spies tipped ……” when it wasn’t the daily mail that claimed it, it was the daily mail’s source claiming a mossad agent claimed it.

          what a farce. this is so israel. propaganda artists d’jour. i’ll believe it when i see it.

        • MRW says:

          Shades of 911 and use of actual Saudi and other Arabic citizens.
          link to news.bbc.co.uk

        • MRW says:

          Nice, Dan Kelly.

  6. “Israeli agents tipped off British intelligence that they were going to carry out an ‘overseas operation’ using fake British passports before assassinating a Hamas official in Dubai, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.”

    To me, that sounds like the Israelis are issuing a psycho threat/tantrum: if you Euros dare to push this any further, you’re going down with us (Everything might Suck, but it’ll suck more for you).

  7. Les says:

    Listen to today’s Democracy Now with Amy Goodman. The author of Kill Khalid, Austrailian newspaper reporter Paul McGeough, makes it clear that Mahmoud Abbas was working with Israel on recruiting the turncoat Hamas members of the assassination team, which, McGeough said would not to good for Abbas’ career.

    • potsherd says:

      Not surprising if true. Everyone knows Abbas is a collaborator and Dahlan is his hitman.

    • Dan Kelly says:

      Speaking of Democracy Now, Amy Goodman et al are doing their part in softening up public opinion for an attack on Iran. They have aired a number of stories of late which essentially celebrate the Iranian dissidents. The stories have no balance, never offering another perspective, including the evidence that much of the dissident movement in Iran is Western-backed and funded (despite this, it is still an extraordinarily small percentage of the population in Iran that buys into the dissident movement).

      • annie says:

        dan, could you please link to one of these Iranian dissidents reports. i’m not finding anything recent in their search engine aside from one little blurb from 12/29 and it doesn’t soften up..

    • annie says:

      The author of Kill Khalid, Austrailian newspaper reporter Paul McGeough, makes it clear that Mahmoud Abbas was working with Israel on recruiting the turncoat Hamas members of the assassination team

      are you positive? link? they have already posted the names and if they were abbas and Dahlan hitmen that doesn’t sound like hamas to me. wrong team. they are fatah.

    • annie says:

      so les, here’s the interview. not seeing anything about “makes it clear that Mahmoud Abbas was working with Israel on recruiting the turncoat Hamas members of the assassination team“. this is one of the reason hamas is popular with palestinians. generally they are not known for working for israel, unlike the PA. nice try tho.

      PAUL McGEOUGH: Well, perhaps more significant than the significance of the dead man is two living Palestinians who were arrested in Jordan and handed over by the Jordanians to the Dubai authorities. The only two alleged perpetrators of this murder that the Dubai authorities hold are two Palestinians who, it seems, according to reports coming out of Gaza, previously worked for the Mahmoud Abbas. That’s the Fatah Palestinian Authority-controlled security services who are so anti-Hamas. It means that within the politics of the Palestinian community, you have the makings of a very serious and very nasty charge of collaboration on the part of Mahmoud Abbas, or those around him, in terms of the extent to which they might have been helping the Israelis to eliminate a Hamas cadre.

      • MRW says:

        Good catch, Annie.

      • Les says:

        Annie, Thanks for the correction. Somewhere I mistakenly picked up the notion that these were ex-Hamas (turncoats) people, who had a split with the Hamas leadership and were expelled. Abbas is obviously deeply involved in this given his long term ties with the Palestinians involved. The US has always considered Abbas to the reasonable and moderate Palestinian not unlike a man of similar character the Germans were able to work with among the Norwegians during WWII, his name being Quisling.

        • annie says:

          Abbas is obviously deeply involved in this given his long term ties with the Palestinians involved.

          Abbas is likely involved in this given his long term ties with the Israelis involved.

          re ex-Hamas (turncoats) people,

          in general hamas is not known for turncoats, they are not affiliated w/the quislings, it is fatah who are corrupt.

          that is likely why hamas won the election, what you see is what you get. if they could be bought israel wouln’t be imprisoning and assassinating them.

        • annie says:

          i didn’t mean to imply all fatah were corrupt. the PA is corrupt and they are fatah. i am certain there are many honorable fatah members.

  8. Citizen says:

    Israel has authorized assassination of any governmental leader. By Israel’s logic, any Israeli is fair game who is or has been a conscript in the IDF; they are legitimately vulnerable while active and while in reserve–even at home, sleeping, after having done their IDF service and now merely in the IDF reserves.

    The USA funds Israeli action.
    Additional to the problem of the moral/ethical US enabling of Israel’s proactive state violence, we Americans all need to see what it’s costing us in world reputation and, since most Americans don’t know shit about foreign policy, how funding of Israel directly affects Amerian domestic life: Here’s a sample involving only one state:

    Florida
    Military Aid to Israel, Total FY2009-2018: $1,469,678,061.61
    ———————————————————————————–

    This money could have been spent instead to:
    Provide 17,845 households per year w/affordable housing grants OR
    Provide 24,397 job seekers per year w/green jobs training OR
    Provide 43,455 children per year w/early reading education OR
    Provide 1,190,215 people per year w/primary health care.

    Tell your Members of Congress to spend your tax dollars more wisely–
    Go here to find out the sum your county and/or state is spending for the rogue state’s fascist whims and what that money could do to help right here in your US home community or state:
    link to aidtoisrael.org

  9. You could take an evens bet that Britain’s MI6 was advised about this from the very start. After all Dubai only graduated from being a British colony (part of the Trucial States) in 1970, and Britain’s influence lingers.

    As for the Austrian cellphone connections, and the American bank’s credit cards; well, they are mere details.

    Everyone, but everyone now knows that this was a typical Mossad hit, so what ‘hook’ are they going to get off?

    What would be needed for anything positive would be definite proof that Mossad did it, which may be forthcoming.

    And anyway, who cares? Looking at his photograph, the fellow was obviously a ‘terrorist’

    • Citizen says:

      LOL. Who is a “terrorist” depends on who’s ox is being gored:
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      ShrubCo had no problem with using the word, and apparently either does Obamarama.
      The POV of dissecting ends and means is avoided. Tactics morph into linguistic strategy; nonsense is made reality–Alice In Wonderland is turned into real politic.
      It’s all very Frum.

    • “After all Dubai only graduated from being a British colony (part of the Trucial States) in 1970, and Britain’s influence lingers.”

      Modern Dubai, all of that construction and hype, was very much a British creation –all of the Sheikh’s key financial advisors/engineers were Brit.

    • Jose says:

      are you saying there’s no truth to his self-description as a “killer”? Or do you just instinctively doubt photographic evidence? Like this piece, for example. . .

      link to coconutstudio.com

  10. potsherd says:

    This piece makes it impossible for Israel to continue denying the hit.

    Ironically, Netanyahu this week declares he will never release the “terrorist” who assassinated the racist Ze’evi.

  11. Rehmat says:

    Britain like the US knows what Mossad does because CIA, MI5 and Mossad all sleep in the same bed – especially when it comes to demonizing the Muslim world. all three are very active in India and Afghanistan to destablize the only nuclear Muslim country. The recent victim of Mossad and Indian RAW was the bombing of the German Bakery in Mubai.

    link to rehmat1.wordpress.com

  12. Taxi says:

    As the ancient Arabs used to say:
    “Mud thrown at a wall won’t stick, but it will leave a stain.”

    The Israeli PR machine now has so many ‘stains’ it looks like it’s got chicken-pox.

    I can hardly wait when too much support for Israel becomes an election issue in Britain. Cause people are now angry with both their government for aiding and abetting international gangstarism and endangering the ‘value’ of the British passport for all British travellers – as well as deeper rage at the Israeli outlaw machine.

    All these ‘perceived’ short-range gains for Israel are actually great for the long-term inevitability of it’s demise.

    • Mooser says:

      Gosh, Taxi are we rooting for Israel’s “demise” or are we going to fix the Israelis, make them nicer people who will be nice to the Palestinians? Sometimes I get confused.

    • potsherd says:

      Bradley Burston is on a roll lately: link to haaretz.com

      There was once a time when Israel longed to be a member in good standing of the community of nations. There was a time when one of its fondest goals was to end its status as a nation in quarantine, boycotted, unrecognized, unwanted, kept firmly at arm’s length.

      No longer. Without asking its people, without a second thought, Israel, at its highest level, has taken an executive decision. Unable to beat the forces who want to see Israel as one of the world’s primary pariah states, it has resolved to join them.

      Determined to take our fate into its own hands. Israel, at its highest level, has decided that the job of delegitimizing the Jewish state must not be left to foreigners and amateurs. Showing itself desperate to be a pariah state, Israel will now get it done on its own.

      • Chu says:

        “What the far-left from Britain to Berkeley has been been unable to bring off – a sense among Israel’s allies that Israel has become a heartless, morally heedless aggressor state worthy of sanction and shunning…
        …I have come to envy the people who hate Israel, because they cannot feel the tragedy in the phenomenal possibility, the depth and breadth of humanity that is going to waste here.
        …My father did not flee the Soviet Union just so his son could one day have the chance to live in a place just like it. “

  13. Chaos4700 says:

    Nice to see that the British Foreign ministry cares about as much about the genuine safety and security of its own citizens abroad as the US State Department, huh.

  14. Elliot says:

    How long before somebody who knows somebody who knows one of the 11 speaks out?
    There must be thousands of people (neighbors, schoolteachers, social friends, spouses’ professional circle etc. etc.) who will recognize their images. One of them is going to start talking in the near future.
    Nice job by the Dubai police getting these WANTED posters on every computer in the world.

  15. radii says:

    you know, something smells with this whole Dubai hit … the way the pictures of the assassination squad appeared all over the media so quickly – kinda reminded me how the U.S. media had pictures of all (or nearly all) the 9/11 hijackers almost instantly to flash across the world media … secondly, if this isn’t some kind of psy-op or a real hit with a psy-op component, then since when has the Mossad been so sloppy? I’ve read that each of the hit squad members as they went through Dubai customs was subjected to a retina scan – can Amdocs or Comvers go snatch and delete that data in the Dubai computers they way they can here in the U.S. if they want? Using real identities is the new normal in document forgeries? At-home printers can fake U.S. dollars well enough to pass some off as counterfeit and the mostly highly trained spooks specializing in document forgeries can only come up the Niger yellowcake doc, Iran nuke document forgery and shoddy fake passports (one was physically too short I’ve read in the Dubai hit case) … were contract agents used for this hit so it wasn’t even really Mossad (except the plan)? There is definitely more to this story – and if it is israel becoming so desperate that they’ve become sloppy then that is a good sign that their criminal regime may be imploding … or there may be a part II or part III to this story that somehow plays out to the neocon agenda

    • Danaa says:

      radii, it should have been obvious by now – as I posted before, to me it seems the Dubai authoriites were tipped off that something was going down. maybe one of those palestinians was a double agent. In which case, they may not have known exactly how or when but they did “let it happen”. Perhaps realizing this was a golden oportunity to give Mossad a major black eye.

      • Elliot says:

        Danaa – (I went through this thread and the other lead thread and didn’t catch the posting you referenced.) The murder took place on January 20 and was discovered a day later. Dubai authorities released the pictures of the assassins on February 16. That gives the UAE authorities over 3 weeks to figure this out.
        1. They got the key suspects from the CCTV tapes of the hallway outside Mabhouh’s room.
        2. Using those images to reach the assassins’ accomplices.
        3. For confirmation, they cross-referenced that with the passenger lists for flights leaving Dubai within 24 hours of the murder.
        That shouldn’t take too long to figure out.

        • Danaa says:

          Elliot, first comment was on an unrelated thread. never mind. Please check Paul Woodward’s post earlier today. Kind of points out some related points. I don’t think it is quite so easy to piece together the different people of the team just from cross referencing passenger lists. After all, many go to Dubai for just a day, and it is also not at all certain that all the conspirators would leave within 24 hours. Clearly the main clue would be the comings and goings of people to the hallway as you say, but there must have been quite a few people getting off that elevator, so it would take quite a bit of time to identify exactly who were the guilty parties. note the digitally hidden face of an individual in the video near the 20 minute. It could have been an innocent guest, or it could have been someone less so. In any case, I am not surprised it would be 3 weeks before releasing the video – as it must have taken painstaking work to piece it together from blurry images, cross check with passenger names for positive ID and make no errors in the release. Certainly the Israelis were surprised Dubai police showed such competence.

          One interesting point that others have pointed out is that the so-called “second surveillance team” which had a woman and man in panama hats, were not identified by name. One wonders who they were and whether there was a snag in identifying them.

          Another point is the definitive diagnosis that the death was not due to natural causes – a possibility raised immediately once the body was found. Was this a goof-up by the assassins?

          Other questions: The report from Dubai mentioned 4 people waiting for the victim in his room. How did they know it was 4? we did not see pictures from outside the room, so how did they know who was who? another curiosity I noted in the video: at the end, it said that the room was locked with a latch from the inside. How would that be done?

          In any case, mine was just a hunch. And as I said, were it true it would raise some really interesting possibilities about who double-crossed whom.

          But also look at who benefits from the fiasco and who doesn’t. Hamas could not have asked for better in terms of bad publicity for israel and a black eye for fatah. Sure, one of their men is dead, but….perhaps he outlived his usefulness?

        • marc b. says:

          Other questions: The report from Dubai mentioned 4 people waiting for the victim in his room. How did they know it was 4? we did not see pictures from outside the room, so how did they know who was who?

          My money would be on at least a couple of the younger chaps with shaved heads. It doesn’t pay to give up a hand full of hair to someone if you might wind up grappling with him.

    • Les says:

      Barely a year ago a plane landed in the Hudson River and the live video was all over the world in about a minute. It seems it is not a plot but technology that is at play here. It was in Dubai’s interest to make this public before the British and US would have been able to stop the spread in the mass media, a task well suited for the Times’ Ethan Bronner.

  16. Elliot says:

    I’m not at all sure Dubai will be blow over so easily. If the Israeli agent tipped off his MI6 counterpart “hours before the operation”, there most likely wasn’t a meaningful sharing of information. Britain might have been willing to go along with a successful plan, with the understanding that if things got out of control, Israel was on its own.
    What has Britain to gain by taking the heat for Israel?

  17. seafoid says:

    It looks like Israel has run into some difficulty in the age of the internet. Dubai has nothing to stop it running CCTV pictures of an assassination squad and thanks to that new fangled internet they can be seen everywhere at once. Israel still thinks it’s 1948 and the world gives a shit about Zionism. Those days have passed.

    • Elliot says:

      seafoid – you mean it’s no longer 1948 and israel has to adjust to a new reality? Not fair!
      I wonder if the glaring blindspot in the plot – one that’s so obvious in hindsight – slipped by the Mossad planners because CCTV is not as widely used in Israel security as it is in the US and Europe. Israeli internal security is focussed on distinguishing between Arabs and Jews. For that, they rely massively on security personnel who try to pick up clues, such as listening to people’s accents.

  18. seafoid says:

    The other thing is that Israeli Jewish and world opinion have been moving in opposite directions for several years now. Israel is the only country in the world whose continued existence depends on the goodwill of foreigners. The divergence of worldviews is very dangerous for Israel.

    The Mossad is just as shoddy and lacking in professionalism as the Israeli retail sector.

  19. seafoid says:

    Israelis take too much pleasure from treating the Palestinians as untouchables to notice that the world has moved on since 1948nd expects more of a country that claims to be enlightened. It takes more than the Jerusalem cinematheque , you know. As Tiger Woods says, it’s about actions, not words.

  20. seafoid says:

    link to guardian.co.uk

    The UK tells Israel to F$%^ off

  21. braciole says:

    Israel is getting above its station in life – it thinks that the European countries love it because it is Israel but they are wrong because the European countries only “love” it because their noses are so far up America’s arse. Once the US drops Israel as a client, Europe will follow pretty fast and then Israel’s position becomes a lot less tenable.

  22. The Guardian today has a few more stories on the Dubai murder case:

    No only the ‘denial’ quoted (thanks) by Seafoid above:
    link to guardian.co.uk
    but a report on Israel stealing another Brit’s passport back in 1979, to carry out the assassination of Ali Hassan Salameh in Beirut
    link to guardian.co.uk

    As long as Israel can carry out ‘targeted assassinations’ or small destructive wars with complete impunity from the international community, then it will continue to do so.

    The irritation showed by European members of that community about the use of their faked passports will almost certainly be translated into quiet blocking of things that Israel wants, like greater integration with the European Community.

    The Mossad has made a very big fuck-up here.

  23. Paul Woodward has, as usual, some interesting thoughts here: link to warincontext.org

    The big problem though, is that the US has not been involved (at least publicly), probably with very good reason; the Israelis don’t want to irritate their pet dog.

    • MRW says:

      Richard, the US is more than involved, and in a much more important way. See my post at February 19, 2010 at 7:55 pm above.

  24. Elliot says:

    Richard – interesting article. The speed with which the assassins went into action certainly implies they had advance knowledge of Mabhouh’s travel plans. It’s reasonable to conclude that Israel succeeded in luring Mabhouh to Dubai.
    I don’t buy the idea that Israel has sold weapons to Hamas rather that, in this case, Mossad agents impersonated weapons dealers.

  25. Citizen says:

    Here’s a macro-view on the immediate issue:

    link to intifada-palestine.com