21 Feb 2010

Mossad Hit Team in the Bedroom With the Current from the Lamp

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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.

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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.

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