The Weekly Standard
17 July '10
When Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was assassinated in Dubai last January, and his cause of death later ascribed to foul play, it didn’t take long before the British press found itself the beneficiary of a troika of good copy. First, al-Mabhouh’s end had been delivered by the injection of a muscle relaxant and a suffocating pillow – so clearly the result of a “wet job” performed by well-trained agents of a foreign intelligence service. Second, that service was almost certainly the Israeli Mossad. Third, the movements of the dozen or so disguised suspects throughout the corridors of the murder scene – Dubai’s posh Al Bustan Rotana Hotel – were captured on closed circuit television, which inspires pride and paranoia in equal measure in Londoners who are typically invigilated on this form of technology whenever they venture outside their own homes.
International condemnation of Israel’s alleged action came swiftly, and perhaps nowhere more so than in the United Kingdom, especially after it was discovered that twelve of the assassins had used forged British passports to enter and leave Dubai. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said at the time, “The British passport is an important document that has got to be held with care. A British passport is an important part of being British.” Brown’s foreign secretary David Miliband went a step further on March 23, calling the forgery “intolerable” in an umbrageous speech before parliament.
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