back to article Dubai assassins used email trojan to track Hamas victim

The successful operation to kill a Hamas commander in Dubai in January 2010 followed a botched attempt by the same Israeli hit squad to kill the same target two months previously, according to reports. Assassins tried to poison Mahmud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in November 2009, but even though the unknown poison was administered it …

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Increased scope

I think everyone knew that Israel had hit squads and used them to track down and kill old Nazi SS personnel. The assination of those involved in the Munich Olympics was organised by Mossad. The ICC was in its infancy, this was their only recource.

However, this sort of brazen murder on foreign soil has gone unpunished - the expelling of a diplomat is hardly devastating. Look what the UK did when the Libyans killed PC Fletcher - they lobbied hard and the whole country was put under intense pressure for decades.

US lobby groups yield enormous pressure; so much so that Israel can get away with state organised murder on foreign soil.

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Getting away with murder

States usually get away with murder. Among others, see Litvinenko and Polonium. I would argue that the murder of constable Fletcher was disorganised murder.

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How many people's lives were saved through Mabhouh's assassination

But Dubai didn't seem to have had a problem with accommodating repeated arms buying trips on the part of Mabhouh, from an openly genocidal terrorist organisation, for the purpose of meeting his suppliers, representatives of an openly genocidal government. The good thing is that there are now plenty of signs of Hamas' unpopularity in Gaza. Perhaps things are looking up, at long last.

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Stop

Murder is a relative term.

What exactly are the US & Co. doing in Afghanistan now?

What did you guys do again in Iraq?

Don't lets call the kettle black when....

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Anonymous Coward

"from an openly genocidal terrorist organisation"

No, he worked for Hamas, not the Israelis.

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FAIL

You are murdering the English Language

The US is in Afganistan with the sanction of the United Nations to get rid of the people who sheltered the person responsible for the 9/11 attacks. These are also the people who turned artillery on thousands of year old Buddist carvings for the sake of the purity of their vision of the world. In your terminology, these people murdered art that had been declared a World Heritage site.

Murder is not a relative term unless you are steeped in relativistic reasoning. Murder is the willful act of terminating another person's life when the other party has shown no such intention.

Even in war, killing takes place that is not murder. Machine gunning prisoners of war is an act of murder. Israel chose to kill a man intent on murdering its citizens. That they should have done it is another question.

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No...it is relative.

Murder has quite a strict legal definition, if you want to take it from that context.

The problem is who looks at it and how.

Killing in war is not murder to those who choose to prosecute it. Consider it however from the perspective of the other party, who perhaps did not want to be in the said scrap in the first place. From their perspective, I am sure you will get a different answer.

Conversely, I am sure terrorists do not consider their kills 'murder' but I am sure you do, so there you go.

Also consider then that the US went after a terrorist or bunch of terrorists. The fact that the US couldn't succeed doing it covertly but had to go in all guns blazing and drag a few other parties into it as well makes it all right. But the US is always 'right' isn't it?

What is considered 'right' or 'wrong' so appears to be relative, at least as far as where issues like this lie. Who appears to generally decide generally has the bigger sphere of influence it would seem.

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FAIL

So, 27 agents? Who were able to slip the target poison, which only made him feel ill? Then two months later they had to inject a muscle relaxant and *then* suffocate him? And managed to get caught in the process?

Is this the same Mossad everyone writes bad spy-fiction about? Sounds more like comedy to me.

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Happy

Get caught?

Have I missed the news on any of them actually getting... caught?

On the contrary, it seems like the earth has swallowed them, even those who allegedly chose to flee to Iran (of all the places safe for a Mossad agent). It sounds like a farce, yet the end result is not so funny.

AC, obviously

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Alien

.... not anon, for obvious reasons

this is a fun one, mossad would never be this amaturish, so, its a real mossad hit, or is it??

not posting anon, "let the good times roll"..... .

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Headmaster

FAIL

Anyone in Israel that thinks it was worth it has been conned. Meir Dagan got sacked for the two botched jobs. Israel's standing in the world slipped some notches. With a small number of men in 2006, Hezbollah humiliated the IDF in Lebanon. The IDF has devoted more resources than ever to try and take Hezbollah again in Lebanon, perhaps this summer from the way things look. More leaked cables from the USA are purported to be coming and a thousands from Israel too: http://bit.ly/hvIcko

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Increased Scope

"I think everyone knew that Israel had hit squads and used them to track down and kill old Nazi SS personnel. The assination of those involved in the Munich Olympics was organised by Mossad. The ICC was in its infancy, this was their only recource."

Their only recourse, what international terrorism?

Mosssad rampaged around the planet indiscriminately murdering anyone suspected of involvement in the 1972 Munich Olympic attack.

Amongst many other terrorist acts Mossad murdered an innocent man in Norway and blew up a hotel in Athens.

These are despicable acts of state sponsored terrorism, nothing less and you say they had no other options.

I guess I'll now be called an anti-Semite for criticising Israel.

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No it's all in the terminology and how you look at it.

You could call these examples of fairly successful covert actions. How much collateral damage was inflicted?

How much collateral damage and loss of life has 'Operation Enduring Freedom' incurred? This is 'right' however because a bunch of people in power and influence have decided that it is.

Same thing ultimately, a government going after people who have incurred its wrath. Not right, but perhaps necessary. Perhaps.

Which would you rather have had the US do, by the way?

Covertly go and assassinate its prime adversaries thus incurring less loss of life or the current status quo. I know what I would choose.

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Big Brother

Interesting...

The article reads as if the Israeli involvement in this has been proven as a fact. Has it? It has been suspected by many (yours truly included), but has never been officially announced as such (to the best of my knowledge).

Big brother, because he obviously has been watching the operation.

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Israeli involvement

In the news reports I saw, the Israel involvement is assumed because of their known extended access to 15 of the identity documents that were duplicated - and they have a proven track record where they have duplicated European passports in the past.

Now, was the official response by European countries on this relatively mild because they lack absolute proof of Israeli involvement, or is it because they were complicit in the passport duplication?

Either way, turning up in Dubai on an Israeli passport is a sure way to be denied entry to the country, even if you are not a mossad agent.

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@ViagraFalls: There Is Irrefutable Evidence Of Israeli involvement

One of the passports was a completely legitimate passport obtained by an Israeli citizen who claimed to be the son of a Nazi victim and German citizen in the 1930s. These persons have the legal right to a German passport. So what the Israeli government did was to send a person to Germany who set up a "quick-and-dirty" residence and then walked into a local mayor's office to obtain that passport. This person quickly returned to Israel and then took part in the assassination.

If this was not done with the Israeli governments consent, they would have handed over the person in question to the judicial system in Israel or Dubai. That's what any government is required to do in case of murder. They did exactly nothing.

Whether all of this is immoral I don't know, as the killed guy was a weapons procurement specialist of the enemies of Israel. It certainly is a proof of Israeli action.

Before we start fingerpionting, look at what other governments did just to protect ITT's copper interests or what they did to protect the stockholders of their oil champions. Israel did this out of very real national security reasons as opposed to Forged Intelligence or just DOLLARS.

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@Schlamperei Ist Teuer

Like I said, I do believe that they are involved. However, the scenario you describe does not provide proof at all. You even said so yourself that *IF* it was not done with the Israeli government consent.

What I have trouble imagining is that the Mossad, if it was them whodunnit, would actually use passports with a trace to Israel. Why not just fabricate some totally random passports? They certainly are capable of doing so.

I won't mourn the guy's death for one minute either, and I strongly support Israel's taking him out. I just think that pointing the finger to Israel is too simple a thing. This guy certainly had lots and lots of enemies, and the Israelis are far from the only ones who had an interest in seeing him gone. Leaving the fairly obvious traces to Israeli citizens just would seem far too amateurisch for an agency like the Mossad.

Just my 2 cents ;)

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@ViagraFalls: Come on

Legally, Israel protects a murderer. The guy with German passport, who could be checked with German authorities. The latter point is crucial. If Dubai customs/security/intel were suspicious, they would have checked the passport with German authorities. They would have told them the passport number, the picture and residence are legitimate. That is why the Israeli government did not just use a random fake at high quality.

I do not think a proper court of law would need more evidence. It would certainly be more than enough for America to launch cruise missiles against a country harboring a murderer.

All we could start to argue is whether the killed person was a "enemy combatant", in CIA speak. But I am not a legal expert and Israel prefers to shut up instead of making that legal claim. The fact that the Israeli government carried out the assassination is completely proven to me. If they claim otherwise, they must hand over the person in question to Dubai or other proper law enforcement authorities. They don't and thereby confirm that person was acting in the name of the State Of Israel. Cut through the mustard, please !

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FAIL

Israel: Serial passport fraudsters sand inveterate agreement breakers

Israel has, repeatedly, and over many years, used forged passports from other countries which places passport holders at risk as well as devaluing the passports worth. Israel has repeatedly undertaken never to repeat these offences, yet it has, to the very same countries, time and time again.

Israel receives generous annual governmental donations, who knows what for, from the U.S.A. AND the U.K. yet passports from both these countries have been exploited. Israel has even attacked U.S. warships and murdered it's citizens. It can do no wrong - no doubt because of guilty consciences dating back 60 years.

Expelling a Israeli diplomat is an affront to both the United Kingdom and it's citizens. Money matters most to Israel, yet the UK continues to fork over millions/billions annually, as does the U.S.A., yet both countries have finances that are proportionately far worse than those of Israel.

Time that the Israeli puppet, the U.S.A. stood up to it's declared values and treated all countries equally.

Don't hold your breath, Cameron hasn't the guts.

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@Israel has used Forged passports

and you think the Yanks, the Russians, the Chinese and even our Secret Services haven't? In that case may I invite you to take part in a great business opportunity. You see my relative was assasinated by the Israeli secret service in whatever country you happen to be living in and has left a great deal of money in a bank account which....

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Alert

Israel promised Canada never to do it again, and again, and again

Because of the old system of registering births in Quebec, using the church registers instead of a central government registry, the Israeli's have repeatedly obtained Canadian in dead or disabled peoples names as well as altering passport Israel acquired / stole.

Every time they were caught Israel said sorry, never again, then turned around and did do it again.

Like a failed state.

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Black Helicopters

It's not really forging passports

when the "invaded" country's intelligence agencies have agreed in advance to let your guys in.

All the rest of the diplomatic flif-flaff is just Kabuki theater.

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The UK gives millions/billions to Israel?

That's quite a bold claim so let's see your evidence.

As for your assertion that some kind of collective "guilty conscience" allows Israel to "do no wrong" you should try reading some of the accounts written by the allied servicemen who walked around Bergen-Belsen. They didn't feel guilty, they were fucking furious.

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Unhappy

Perspective

"Wired reports that Meir Dagan, the intelligence officer who revived the use by Israel of hit squads, was sacked as head of Mossad in the wake of the operation."

He was sacked, not for killing a foreign national, but because they got caught on tape...

Bloody sad state of affairs.

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Actually...

2 minutes of googling would have revealed that te was not sacked at all. Instead, he was denied another yearly term after the 2010 one ended, and most likely this incident had very little to do with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meir_Dagan

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/mossad-chief-meir-dagan-to-step-down-1.298372

Don't let the facts deny you your chance to launch your anti-Israel rant, though.

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Stop

@Actually...

> and most likely this incident had very little to do with it.

[citation needed]

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Black Helicopters

Yeah, right...

Anonymous? Just because.

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Not sure Wikipedia can be considered authoritative

especially not for something as emotionally charged as this.

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So...

His contract wasn't renewed = He lost his job = He was sacked

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Pint

@NoneSuch: He was sacked not for killing a foreign national

For this he should've been given a medal. Then sacked for agents disclosure.

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See my post

The Haaretz link was added for a reason. Did you bother reading it, or was the main point of your post just to post something?

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Not sacked

Sacked = fired immediately.

Allowed to sit out his current term, but not granting him a new term is not the same thing as firing someone.

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Bronze badge

Murder?

Isn't Hamas a terrorist organization that has directly targeted Israeli civilians, killing a large number of them? If Dubai was not likely to extradite Mahmoud al-Mabouh to Israel upon request, it is hard for me to feel sorry for the intrusion on their sovereignty, and it's hard for me to view the killing of someone with a senior post in an organization dedicated to murder as a murder instead of a legitimate response to murder. Especially since Hamas has continued engaging in terrorist activities after September 11, 2001.

It's not as if Hamas' activities are helpful to the Palestinian people. It is precisely because of the security threat to Israel they create that the Camp David peace process has stalled, with the West Bank and Gaza not yet having become an independent Palestinian state - because that can't happen as long as it would be a staging area for groups like Hamas instead of a peaceful neighbor of Israel.

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Why ?

>"Especially since Hamas has continued engaging in terrorist activities after September 11, 2001"

Is it because before 9/11, terrorism was somebody else's problem ?

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Megaphone

Hmmm

I have very little sympathy for Hamas and its leadership (if any).

However 2 wrongs do not make 1 right. Then Israelis seem shocked nobody is on their side.

True, Palestinians are not helpful to their own cause. So are Israelis.

I think if could only get all the religious zealots from both sides on a single desert island we would have peace in the Middle East in couple of years. No F***ing idiot would claim god gave them some piece of land and sooner or later things will get where they should be.

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no

it was somebody else's remit.

don't forget haganah or the IZL

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Re: Why?

Terrorism was always a terrible thing. But the attack of September 11, 2001, in which thousands of people died at once, is a wake-up call to the whole world. The rules have changed, now that the world's sole remaining superpower has made it its business to wipe terrorism from the face of the Earth.

Of course it would have been a good thing if this recognition had happened sooner, and the United States had been free sooner to bring to bear its resources against terrorists everywhere. But better late than never.

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@John Savard

I in no way support Hamas' violent activities, but I think you may be forgetting the way in which the State of Israel was a bad neighbor by driving or scaring Palestinians out of their homes (see Deir Yassin) in what is now the state of Israel, and illegally blocking the return of any who had fled their homes and properties. At this stage the solution is not clear and cannot be imposed from outside, but to write off Hamas as a terrorist organization is missing at least part of the point.

This kind of retaliation is a clear case of an eye for an eye making the whole world blind (Gandhi).

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@kirovs

Yes, and then we can ask the hard-line atheists to show us the way. Welcome Kim Jong-Il, Pol Pot and Stalin!

The conflict is driven by "us and them" prejudice that is justified by quasi-religious arguments. The Law and the Prophets (Old Testament) include a lot of requirements to be good to your neighbors and to promote justice, and these are typically ignored by those who claiming the land. It was secular Zionists that started grabbing the land as a result of the indifference of hard-hearted secular countries such as the UK and US when faced with the gross persecution by a homicidal, anti-Christian (and of course anti-semitic) Nazi government... In other words, I think you are being a little over simplistic in your assessment of the source of world ills. I agree with your main point, however!

Badgers! because I am aware that I may be badgering a little... (nothing to do with Web 2.0...)

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Megaphone

911

1) Take a deep breath.

2) Take 30 minutes examining the arguments put forward by the various specialist 911 truth movements in the US, like http://www.pilotsfor911truth.org/ , http://www.ae911truth.org/ and http://www.militaryofficersfor911truth.org/

3) Just because some pretty intelligent people are deeply concerned about 911 and its world-changing consequences, don't take the easy road and dismiss everything they say as 'Nutty'. They may just have a point. They certainly have serious questions that are not being answered.

4) There are so many huge holes in the politically and media-established legend of 911, that I consider that if you truly believe in democracy you owe it to yourself and your fellow citizens/subjects to examine that information. Make your own mind up, not have it made up for you!

5) Remember any 'conspiracy' will always attract the lunatic fringe, but at the same time consider the dis-information tactic of agreeing with the concerns and then taking it too far in order to discredit it.

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FAIL

WTF has 9/11 to do with this?!

I think one could quite strongly argue Hamas became terrorists once the EU and USA left them with no other option by refusing to recognise their democratic mandate from the 2006 Palestinian General Election. If the West had the balls to stand up to Israel and genuinely commit to democracy they would have acknowledged Hamas as the rightful government and worked with them to build a peaceful palestinian state. Remember Sinn Fein grew out of the IRA.

Second to suggest that Hamas are the main blockade to a successful peace process is disingenuous. Israels actions in continuing settlement building in the Occupied Territories, not to mention the wall around the West Bank are by far more obstructive and in contravention of international law - even President Obama says they have to stop before a constructive peace process can progress.

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@Cantab

So the suicide bombings and attacks on civilians Hamas conducted before 2006 were non-terrorist in nature?

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Perhaps you did not know...

Stalin was a seminary graduate. I am not aware of the Pol Pot or Kim Jon Il(l)'s preferences. But I could not recall a war lead by atheists because of the promised land.

I have no issue with most of the moral guidance in any holy book. The problem is I, as an agnostic know more and follow those than the "faithful" once. Do I need to name few televangelists as an example.

I am not sure about the secular Zionists' role, but I am quite aware of the religious extremists role on both sides. Rabin's assassination comes mind (worst thing to happen to Mid-East in my opinion) as well all, hhmmm you know -Hamas as a whole.

Nazi government by the way was not all that anti-Christian.

Actually Hitler thought of atheists as of enemies.

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Silver badge

If you insist on starting your history in 1948, then while you may be

a useful idiot, you do none the less support Hamas' violent activities, if only rhetorically.

Prior 1948 Britain had the protectorate mandate for all of Palestine. Their (admittedly fucked up) solution to the mass execution of the Jews in Nazi Germany was to partition their mandate into Jordan for the Palestinians and Israel for the Jews. The Jews did not terrorize the Palestinians until after the Palestinians attacked the Jews. In point of fact, all of the land which the Jews "occupied" in Israel was purchased legally from Palestinians under the laws set forth by the British government.

Refusing a right to return until such time as a treaty ending a war has been signed IS standard diplomatic practice.

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The problem with peace

The problem with peace is that borders have to be defined for that.

And the problem with that is that deep down Israel is dreaming of

a larger "fatherland".

And this, of course, is something that no body in Israel can admit.

Also any political party within Israel will oppose this fact as it would be political suicide.

There is opposition against this, Terje Carlsson made a good document about this and the group "Breaking the Silence".

And of course, all the nice words like Nazi, anti semitic and so forth are thrown around.

I had a friend who spent a long time with the UN in Sinai.

Eventually he, and I suppose many others, got so frustrated that they started to talk only about Arabs and Super Arabs.

The ugliest and worst kind of war is a civil war where brothers and sisters kill each other.

Add to this a situation where politics and religion is mixed together like in Iran and North Korea.

Right now I really believe Israel has the keys for peace, but then again the number of dead against the dream of more property is not that bad, I suppose.

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Anonymous Coward

Update?

So: How's those reassurances from Israel that they won't use UK passports going?

We've shouted and expelled a diplomat. Big deal. Shouldn't we be allowed to suffocate him instead or something? It's only fair.

This team are looking incompetent compared to the one in Iran that's busy murdering nuclear scientists with limpet mines on their cars. Although of course that team isn't bothering to minimise innocent casualties very much.

It seems international assassinations are on the up (or at least better reported), yet States electing to employ such tactics are getting away scott-free diplomatically.

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Terminator

Reality check

I am all against murdering of innocent people. But when the alternative is a nice mushroom and radiation cloud, well, better them dead than me.

Call it selfishness, call it my vulgar survival instinct... I don't mind.

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Alien

en title?

hey relax, both sides wont nuke real people, only each other. then the yanks can send in the marines to paint new lines in the glass-surface parking lots

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A whole page of comments and....

....no breaches of Godwin's.

Well done all, carry on...

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