Murder in Dubai

Robert Fisk on the murder of a Palestinian by an Israeli death squad in Dubai. ‘Collusion’, he notes, ”The United Arab Emirates suspect – only suspect, mark you – that Europe’s “security collaboration” with Israel has crossed a line into illegality’. He quotes his UAE source saying: ‘the British passports are real. They are hologram pictures with the biometric stamp. They are not forged or fake. The names were really there. If you can fake a hologram or biometric stamp, what does this mean?’. Fisk adds: ‘He said that EU countries were cooperating with the UAE, including the UK. But “not one of the countries we have been speaking to has notified Interpol of the passports used in their name. Why not?”‘

While most of the named suspects are claiming that their identities were stolen, the mother of at least one murderer is less certain. She admitted to the Daily Telegraph that the photo of the suspect was ‘similar to her son’. This will not be the first time that agents of the notoriously incompetent Mossad have carried out murder using their own identities. They did so too when they killed the Moroccan waiter Ahmad Bouchiki in Lillehammer in front of his pregnant wife following the Munich incident believing him to be Ali Hassan Salameh. Six members of the team were arrested by the Norwegian police in Oslo, and one, Dan Aerbel, turned out to be claustrophobic who immediately started screaming and confessed not just to the murder but also to recent smuggling of nuclear material from Norway. In addition, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn reported, ‘they helpfully supplied safe-house addresses. Another just happened to have the key to a Paris apartment, where French authorities gathered up other keys to other apartments, unravelling the whole operation’.

However, if the identities were indeed stolen, then that raises more interesting questions. So this means Israel rewards the Zionist zealots who immigrate there to squat on land stolen from the Palestinians by stealing their identities in turn and turning them into murder suspects? But what have the states whose flags/passports were abused in this trans-national crime got to say about this? Adam Shatz writes:

The Mossad has a history of ‘borrowing’ the identities of foreign-born Israelis – sometimes without their consent, or even their knowledge. Two of the assailants in the bungled attempt on the life of the Hamas leader Khalid Mishal in Amman in 1997 (ordered by Binyamin Netanyahu and carried out in another friendly Arab country) hadpassports belonging to Canadians living in Israel; the Canadian government retaliated by recalling its ambassador in Tel Aviv – for all of a week. Of the 11 suspects identified by the police in Dubai, six hold British passports, all of them – according to the Foreign Office – forged.

The question is what Britain intends to do if – as seems likely – the Mossad’s responsibility is established. David Miliband, denouncing the passport forgery as an ‘outrage’, has vowed that the British government is not merely ‘going through the motions’ in demanding Israel’s full co-operation with the investigation in Dubai. And there has been much fanfare about the diplomacy in London: the Foreign Office called in the Israeli Ambassador, Ron Prosor, for a 20-minute chat today, and has arranged a meeting in Brussels next week between Miliband and Lieberman. Not much is likely to come of these public reproaches, since going through the motions is precisely what they seem to be about.

This isn’t the first time Israel has forged British passports: in 1987, it admitted that Mossad assassins in Germany had passed themselves off as Englishmen. The Israeli authorities apologised to the British government, promising they would never do it again – unless, it now seems, they needed to.

Far from showing contrition, as the Guardian notes, the Israelis are giving Europe the finger:

Amid the mounting diplomatic row over Mossad’s alleged assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai, the Israeli embassy has turned to Twitter to comment.

A tweet issued by the embassy today read: “@israeluk You heard it here first: Israeli tennis player carries out hit on #Dubai target http://ow.ly/18A79”. It links to a story about the Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer, who beat the top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki yesterday to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championship.

But the tweet is open to interpretation. The Mossad hit squad accused of assassinating Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior figure from the militant group Hamas, at the Al-Bustan Rotana hotel in Dubai were disguised as tennis players.

CCTV footage released by Dubai police shows the assassins dressed as tennis players following Mabhouh into the hotel lift as a member of staff showed him to his room.

Police said this was an attempt to note down his room number.

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

14 thoughts on “Murder in Dubai”

  1. Mossad made a serious mistake at Lillehammer, targeting the wrong man–but that was 1973 and the government of Israel paid for that mistake: over US$400,000 to the dead man’s family. One major mistake in thirty-six years? Every intelligence agency in the world would like to be so “incompetent”! The Americans have an expression: “whistling past the graveyard”; that is, putting on a brave face while inwardly scared s–tless. That’s understandable. Mossad evidently had an agent–at least one–inside Hamas. What other organizations hostile to Israel and the West might be penetrated? As for Ali Hassan Salameh, organizer of the Munich Massacre, they got him in the end, didn’t they?

    1. Indeed, if George Bush could start executing every man in Texas it is likely he could have got a murderer too. But when you go on an international murder spree and kill 10 people, not one of whom is related to the incident to which it purportedly retaliating, it doesn’t say much about your competence, now does it? A newsstand paperback thriller is no substitute for history, I’m afraid. Surely you must have heard of the oh-so-professional attempt on Khaled Mashaal’s life?

      1. Rather more professional than the knickers bomber of London and Nigeria–great balls on fire!
        But seriously, the Khaled Mashaal affair, a minor mistake, I’d say. They got the right man, just didn’t get him quite enough. Things can boomerang when you try to do a favor for a neighbour and friend. If one’s house is infested with vermin one calls in the exterminator–and Hamas are some very nasty vermin indeed.

        1. That’s an apt comparison. The world’s best resourced spy agency with hundreds of thousands of fifth columnists worldwide is indeed on par with the half-wit loneranger with a combustible underwear when it comes to competence.

          Mishap, eh? Why don’t you call it consistency instead, and praise them for that? It will sound no less credible than your present argument.

          Speaking of vermin, I’d say it takes one to know one. Who did you pick up that language from anyway – the Fuhrer?

          1. Unlike Hitler I refer not to entire races or ethnic groups but only to an organization of intolerant fanatics who bring death and terror, mostly to their fellow Arabs. The Hashemite Kingdom is well rid of them.

            Agreed, Abdelmuttalab is a half-wit, or at any rate a very mixed up young man. But no Lone Ranger, he. Someone equipped and dispatched him, apparently in Yemen, after some others in London brainwashed him to a suicide attempt that had it succeeded would have killed many hundreds of innocents.

            London’s a funny place these days: more communists than Moscow, more jihadists than Cairo.

            Mossad is adequately funded but it’s no CIA or MI-6. The fact that its enemies **believe** it has “hundreds of thousands” of agents shows how efficiently it uses the resources it actually has.

  2. if you’re gonna condemn the assassination of the Hamas terrorist, should you also condemn him, for killing 2 Israeli soldiers and supplying arms to Gaza to kill more Israelis ?

    or is it only Israel that gets condemned for resorting to violence ?

    Lewis Regenstein

  3. Lewis Regenstein, only in Hasbaraworld would you think that murder is justified because someone was “supplying arms to Gaza” to defend Gaza from israeli terrorism rather than your laughable “to kill more Israelis”. Last time we checked the wholesale murder was one-sided

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