Al-Mabhouh approaches his room, a couple of tennis players just behind him.
Spite and malice time.
What do you do when a foreign intelligence service breezes into your capital, takes out a Hamas arms procurer, and disappears, leaving you with egg all over your face? If you are the security service of Dubai, you leak as many of the after the fact details of identities and tradecraft as you can to the international press. If you can’t stop them and you can’t catch them, at least, you can spill everything you know.
The Daily Mail, as the result, is able to publish the answers to the game of Clue being played by an amused international audience.
The hit squad behind the assassination of a Hamas commander in a Dubai hotel tried to make his death look like an accident by electrocuting him with a bedside lamp.
Police sources said the killers, who used fake British passports, tried to ‘induce the effects of a heart attack’ before smothering Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh with a pillow in his room.
It is understood that the lamp was taken apart and the wiring attached to a device that pulsed electricity into his body. ...
[T]he fake British passports used by the killers had been secretly copied by Tel Aviv airport immigration officials.
The Israeli ambassador to London has been accused of ‘stonewalling’ all attempts to find out how the killers had the passports.
But the Foreign Office has been told that all six of the genuine passport holders – all residents in Israel – had their documents briefly taken away at the airport during routine checks.
The London Times speculates that Meir Dagan’s job as head of Mossad may be in jeopardy as the result of the indignation of Western governments over the forged passports.
All the publicity is doubtless inconvenient, and Mossad will inevitably be obliged to lie low for a bit, avoiding the kind of Black Operations that would fuel the continuation of the Shocked, Shocked! meme, but in the long run a reputation for ruthlessness combined with competence, daring, and efficiency will not really do the state of Israel’s intelligence service much harm.
Paul Mirengoff, at Power Line, mocks the politically correct Pecksniffery on the part of certain Euopean powers about passports and the mysterious demise of Hamas weapons-runner Mahmoud-al-Mabhouh in Dubai at the hands of person or persons unknown.
Great Britain is unhappy that six of the 11 individuals thought to be part of the Mossad (or whomever) team used fake British passports bearing the names of Israeli citizens. Prime Minister Gordon Brown sniffed that “the British passport is an important document that has got to be held with care.” However, I’m confident that if the agents had possessed real British passports, they would have held them carefully.
The [Washington] Post also reports that Israeli citizens whose names appeared on the fake passports were “shocked to find themselves mentioned in the material released by the Dubai police.” No doubt. Israel’s position, though, is that “if there is concern about identity theft, those involved should consult a lawyer.” Always good advice.
But passport fraud and identity theft hardly exhaust the ways in which the slaying of Mabhouh affronts modern sensibilities. For example, the photos of the 11 suspects raise questions about the diversity of the team Mossad (or whomever) assembled. It includes only one woman (an attractive blond,naturally) and looks to be short on people of color.
There is also no indication that the team advised Mabhouh of his rights or offered him a chance to exculpate himself before he was killed. Indeed, from all that appears, no lawyer was present.
Finally, what about the carbon footprint of the operation? Did the team travel to Dubai in an energy efficient way? And how much electricity did they use once they arrived? Some reports say they used electricity to stun Mabhouh before killing him. Couldn’t he have been executed in a more energy efficient way?
A certain amount of nastiness is inevitable in today’s world. But this doesn’t mean that protocol, equal opportunity, and principles of good environmental stewardship should fall by the wayside.
The Jerusalem Post is defiantly sarcastic in its response to indignation over the presumptive Mossad use of forged passports.
The pigheaded refusal to acknowledge that sometimes the ends justify the means reflects Europe’s moral impoverishment.
Dahu Khalfan Tamim now has a world-class reputation for detective work. The head of the Dubai police swiftly determined that Hamas’s Mahmoud Mabhouh did not die of natural causes at the five-star Bustan Rotana Hotel on Jan. 20. He was assassinated.
Let’s for the sake of argument grant that Israel did away with Mabhouh; that he was not killed by Iran or over some intra-Palestinian dispute, and that clues pointing to Israeli culpability are genuine.
Mabhouh certainly deserved to be assassinated by Israel. Hamas declared war on Israel. And he co-founded its military wing and was personally involved in the (separate) 1989 killings of IDF soldiers Ilan Sa’adon and Avi Sasportas.
Mabhouh was a key link in the unlawful syndicate which delivers Iranian weapons to Gaza. He was apparently tasked with importing an arsenal that would make life hellish for Israelis living in metropolitan Tel Aviv. He was, perhaps, Hamas’s equivalent to Hizbullah’s Imad Mughniyeh, whose car blew up in Damascus two years ago.
You can tell a great deal about the moral compass and political leanings of a society by observing its reaction to the Mabhouh liquidation.
There is unease in Europe because the purported assassins identified by Dubai were travelling under forged French, German, Irish and British passports; and identities of Israelis with dual-citizenship were utilized.
Even The Times of London, whose editorial page has been sympathetic toward Israel, expressed chagrin over the affair, saying this country had shown poor regard for the “future security of British passport holders overseas.” Frankly, there is little reason to think that the tradecraft employed in this assassination – which we will not second guess at this stage – jeopardizes anyone.
Actually, what troubles us is the question of whose passport Mabhouh was traveling under and why he was allowed to enter neutral Dubai on gun-running business.
Of course, that’s not how the British see it. The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen warned that if Israel had used British passports for “nefarious” purposes – meaning sending Mabhouh to his Maker – Bowen expected, or would it be more accurate to say, hoped for, “a crisis” in relations betweenLondon and Jerusalem.
The Guardian quoted a Foreign Office mandarin as gloating: “Relations were in the freezer before this. They are in the deep freeze now.” The paper then grumbled about the British government’s “supine” response to the assassination, editorializing against the government’s proposal to lift the threat of lawfare. The Guardian wants visiting Israeli ministers to continue to worry about facing Palestinian-inspired “war crimes” charges.
With the British media delighting in the assassination-passport kerfuffle – a Daily Mail headline screamed: “Dragged into a Mossad murder plot” – Menzies Campell, a routinely anti-Israel elder of the Liberal Democrats, declared that “Israel has some explaining to do.”
An anyway beleaguered Prime Minister Gordon Brown intoned: “We have got to carry out a full investigation into this. The British passport is an important document that has got to be held with care.” Sentiments echoed by Opposition Leader David Cameron. ...
Perhaps the shrill reaction in some (though certainly not all) British quarters is not rooted purely in anti-Israelism. Chances are that at least parts of the British intelligentsia and media would have reacted similarly if the man in that hotel room had been Osama bin Laden… or Adolf Eichmann.
One has to admire especially the delightfullly humorous, cat-ate-the-canary “Just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that Israel did away with Mabhouh” line. I bet that champagne corks are popping still in secluded rest and recreation facilities used by Mossad operatives obliged by circumstances to remain in hiding and out of the public eye.
Of course, the Jerusalem Post is perfectly correct. The British and European press ought to be editorializing piously about how naughty people who traffic in weapons used to attack innocent civilians need to expect to come to premature ends at the hands of persons unknown, instead of striking poses of feigned indignation over the profaned sanctity of travel identification documents.
That Skull and Bones balloting box was not actually sold. Apparently, Christie’s withdrew it from the sale late last month, IvyGate reports, after receiving a mysterious “title claim.” The Russell Trust has plenty of lawyers.
Hot Air (one of the most important conservative blogs) has been sold to Salem Communications. Congratulations and good luck.
As part of the Carnival celebration, preceding the beginning of Lent, in the Spanish village of Laza, “Peliqueiros” or ancient tax collectors, are portrayed wearing warning cowbells and prepared to beat the villagers with sticks.39 Carnival photos.
Stratfor: Tradecraft in Dubai Assassination
The murder was straight out of a cheap spy thriller. At least 11 professional assassins, some wearing wigs and fake beards, tracked a senior Hamas official to his Dubai hotel in January and killed him with cold precision, fleeing the country afterward on European passports, the Dubai police say.
The Telegraph quoted the Irish government denying the legitimacy of several supposedly Irish passports, and provided details of the assassination.
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior figure in the military wing of Hamas, was found dead in a hotel room on Jan 20. According to one report he was killed by a female assassin who entered his room by posing as a member of hotel staff, injected him with a drug that induced a heart attack and hung a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.
But other officers said he was strangled, probably after receiving an electric shock.
Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, blamed Israel’s Mossad intelligence service for the killing.
It seems that the late al-Mabhouh played a key role in the smuggling of Iranian rockets to Gaza.