What’s the Deal?

One of the most intriguing news stories of the past week is the murder of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. The team that carried out the assassination allegedly included eleven members, ten men and a woman. They were evidently traveling on fake passports and have been identified because their images were captured on various security cameras. These photos of three members of the alleged team appear to be taken from passports:

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.
But video footage and a series of passport photographs released by the Dubai police suggested a much more convoluted and bizarre operation than is normally associated with Mossad, which has a reputation for ruthless professionalism. …
Gen Tamim also released CCTV footage that showed the woman wearing a wig and sporting a large hat and sunglasses in an apparent attempt to blend in with tourists.
Other suspects were wearing tennis clothes and false beards and carried tennis rackets. They were shown entering and exiting the al-Bustan Rotana hotel, where the victim stayed. Four of the group are then shown using an electronic device to open the door of a hotel room.

Lately I’ve been reading Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon books. I like them a lot; unfortunately, there is only one left I haven’t read. Based on news reports, this does look like the kind of operation the “Office” carries out, at least in fiction. But for now, at least, the circumstances under which this particular terrorist got his just deserts remain mysterious.
PAUL adds: Other than diversity, the Mod Squad’s got nothing on this team.

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