Gabriel Malor over at Ace of Spades Headquarters asked today why he hasn't heard about this story earlier. Well, the reason why it has not been here before today is because I have been working on it-- for the last five days, trying to get the whole story together. This story reads like something from Tom Clancy.
And in the vein of Tom Clancy, I will start with the line from the beginning of the movie Hunt for Red October-
According to repeated statements of the [Israeli] Government...
Nothing of about you are to see [or read]…
It well known that Mossad has a history of participating in assassinations and using forgein passports when they do so. After the brutal murder of the Olympic team in 1972, they took out those responsible. In the 1960's they kidnapped Nazi Adolf Eichmann from Argentina so he could be brought to trial and executed.
In 1997 they attempted to "cap" Kahled Meshaal . The assassination team used Canadian passports. In 2004, New Zealand suspended relations with Israel when two Israeli agents were caught with forged New Zealand passports, and Great Britain formally protested in 1987 and asked for assurances that forged passports from Great Britain would never be used again.
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the "now dead" terrorist, was an illegal smuggler of arms for Hamas. He helped found the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades- militant wings of Hamas, and was involved in the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers, Sa'adon and Sasportas, during the first Palestinian intifada in 1989. It is also believed he was involved in smuggling arms from Sudan to Gaza in 2009.
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was found dead on January 20, 2010 in his hotel room in Dubai.
I have taken a number of news reports and CCTV footage as relased by the Government of Dubai, sorted it, sifted it and created a timeline of the "alleged" events that occurred prior to al-Mabhouh being assassinated. The names used are those that are reported by the Government of Dubai. ALL passports were found to be forged and therefore the names are likely aliases.
January 19, 2010 (all times are the local time in 24 hour format)
00:09 - Alleged assasination team begins to arrive. First to arrive are "Michael Bodenheimer" on a fake passport from Germany and "James Leonard Clarke" on a forged passport from Great Britain.
00:30 - Gail Folliardand and Kevin Daveron arrive from Paris on Air France flight 526. Both are carrying forged passports from Ireland. The Irish government states that no passport has been issued in either name.
00:30 to 02:26 - Other members of the team arrive. Each are carrying fake passports. The names and "fake" passport countries are: Melvyn Adam Mildiner - Britain, Stephen Daniel Hodes - Britain, Paul John Keeley - Britain, Jonathan Louis Graham - Britain, Evan Dennings - Ireland, James Leonard Clarke - Britain, and Michael Lawrence Barney - Britain. Arrivals are from Munich and Qatar
02:26 - Peter Elvinger arrives. He is using a fake French passport. He was the last of the alleged assassination team to arrive in Dubai. Allegedly, he meets member of team at airport.
During the day each checks into a variety of hotels. They pay cash. They use "international routers" to place calls. According to the Dubai government video, none ever contacted each other by phone, but they all called a number in Austria- supposedly, this is how they relayed information to each other.
10:40 to 11:00 - alleged team members meet at a mall. They are seen entering separately or in pairs and leaving in separately or in different pairs. After this pairs rotated in teams, waiting for Al-Mabhouh’s arrival at Al Bustan Rotana hotel near Dubai airport.
15:00 (about) al-Mabhouh arrives in Dubia-- he is also using a fake passport. He does not have security with him. They could not get tickets on the same flight and he has traveled to Dubai before without security without incident. His security team was to arrive on January 20. He is met by a Palestinian who is a resident of Dubai at the airport. He is allegedly followed by members of the assassination team at the airport.
From the Times -
The team is seen "staking out various hotels in the area to determine where he is going to stay.
In CCTV footage of the victim and suspects released by Dubai police, Al-Mabhouh is shown being tracked by his assassins throughout the day of the murder, who donned an array of disguises, including fake beards and wigs.
Surveillance teams rotated in pairs waiting for Al-Mabhouh’s arrival at the luxury Al Bustan Rotana hotel near Dubai airport"
15:25 - Mahmoud al-Mabhouh checks into the Al-Bustan Rotana Hotel, room 230. He is apparently followed to his hotel room by two members of the "hit squad" wearing sports apparel and carrying tennis racquets-
15:55 - Peter makes call to book room Al-Bustan Rotana Hotel room 237 from another hotel's business center- per the Dubai Government video -- . Room 237 is directly across the hall from room 230. Peter also books his departing flight from Dubai for that night.
16:25 - al-Mabhouh stayed in his room for an hour before leaving to meet people who are believed to be Palestinians from Gaza.
16:30 - Peter checks into room 237. He does not go to the room but allegedly passes the key to Kevin in the lobby.
19:30 - Peter Elvinger leaves Dubai Airport
20:00 - Members of assassination team are allegedly seen on video on hallway of room 230. There is also allegedly a "write" to the door lock, supposedly indicating a change of key coding or a method of entry to the room. There is supposition that the assassination team waited in the room.
20:24 - al-Mabhouh arrives back at his hotel. According to Dubai police, he has been "shoe shopping"
20:30 - al-Mabhouh returns to his room and supposedly is killed at this time. Reports differ as to the methods, however, most are now saying he was stunned and then strangled to death. Nothing is touched in the room. The hit takes 10 minutes.
20:47- hit squad is out of hotel
22:30 - Melvyn Adam Mildiner and Stephen Daniel Hodes depart to South Africa, Kevin Daveron and Gail Folliard depart to Paris
23:30 - Michael Bodenheimer and Jonathan Louis Graham allegedly depart to Hong Kong
January 20, 2010-
00:30 - Evan Dennings allegedly departs to Zurich
06:30 - Michael Lawrence Barney allegedly departs to Frankfurt
08:30 - James Leonard Clarke allegedly departs to Frankfurt
13:30 Mahmoud al-Mabhouh found dead in Room 230 of the Al-Bustan Rotana Hotel - "latch and chain" on door are in place- in other words, door is locked from the inside.
Janary 28, 2010- The body of al-Mabhouh is sent to Damascus for burial. Word of his death is slow to get out, partly because he used fake information to enter Dubai.
January 29, 2010- The first response from Israel- (IsraelNN.com ) Member of Knesset Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) reacted Friday to the elmination of senior Hamas terrorist commander Mahmoud Al-Bahouh by saying, "Every murderer should know that the long arm of Israel will get him at any time and any place.
“All the security services make, thank God, great efforts to safeguard the security of the State of Israel,” Interior Minister Eli Yishai told the reporters with a smirk on his face.
Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz added that Mossad chief Meir Dagan was one of the best directors of the espionage agency ever.
“My impression is that the Mossad knows how to get the job done, and it is a known thing that anyone who lifts a hand against a Jew is putting his life on the line,” Herschkowitz said.
They never come out and say, "we did it"- nor do they really say "we did not do it." Although they have plausible deniability.
From the Jerusalem Post-
On Monday night, Melvyn Adam Mildiner, a British Israeli man who made aliya from London nine years ago, went to bed suffering from what he said is pneumonia.
When he woke up the following morning, Mildiner said, he was stunned to discover that one of the members of an alleged hit squad who assassinated senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel last month went under an alias which was identical to his name.
Mr Mildiner confirmed that the name and number of his passport matched those released by the Dubai authorities. But he said he had no idea how his details had been stolen as his passport, issued in Britain in 2001, had never been lost or missing. “I have my passport. It is in my house, along with the passports of everybody else in my family, and there’s no Dubai stamps in it because I’ve never been to Dubai,” he said.
The photo released in Dubai also does not match his passport picture or photographs posted on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. “It’s not me,” he said. “Which is one silver lining on this entire story because at least I can point to it and say, ’Look, that’s not me.” Colleagues of Susan Hodes, the mother of Stephen Daniel Hodes, said she had been thrown into panic by the apparent theft of her son’s name.
At her workplace Urban & Rural Estates, in Manchester, a colleague said: “It’s not her son. She has got a child called Stephen Daniel Hodes and she is in a complete tizz. Thankfully there was the picture which is not her son. Whether someone has stolen identity or whether there are two Stephen Daniel Hodes I don’t know. She called in the office in a complete panic. It’s just very uncomfortable for her.”
France and Germany both said they were unable to verify the identities of the passport holders named in Dubai. “We are still checking,” a French foreign ministry spokesperson said. “But it would not be surprising if the identity was false.”
Ireland said the three Irish passports appeared to be forgeries rather than stolen identities. “We have run the passport numbers and names through our system and there are no passports in those names or with those numbers,” said an Irish foreign affairs department spokesman. “These purported passports are false.”
According to the Haaretz this whole scenario is similar to the novel "Duet in Beruit"- which is similar to or based on a failed 1997 attempt to assassinate Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal in Jordan. Mishka Ben-David wrote in detail about Mossad methods in the novel.
Was it Mossad? I have no idea. It was profesional. It feels like Mossad. If it was not, it serves Israel's purposes to have terrorist think it was... if it was, same thing. A terrorist is dead. So, give the guys who did it... whoever they are... a medal.
UPDATE: More thoughts on the Who of this Who-done-it.
CCTV Video from the Dubai Government (which all could be fake for all I know)--
Video part 1-
Video part 2-
Video part 3-