The first vid will give you the basics but I recommend watching at least a few minutes of the much longer second one to get a feel for how elaborate this operation was. The target: Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a Hamas military honcho at the top of Mossad’s hit list. The team, allegedly: 11 Mossad operatives, a mind-blowing number not only in terms of the coordination involved but the risk that one of them would be found out and the whole squad would be pinched. The Times of London picks up the story:
Stepping out of the lift, al-Mabhouh was escorted to room 230 by a member of staff at the Al Bustan Rotana hotel, near Dubai airport. Unnoticed, the taller man followed him down the corridor, clocking his room number and that of the room opposite, 237. In the hours that followed, room 237 became the staging post for the audacious murder of the senior Hamas official.
Within an hour of al-Mabhouh checking in his killers had established that room 237 was unoccupied and moved in across the hall. By that evening seven of the team were gathered in the room, waiting for their opportunity…
Security footage of the killers’ movements during the afternoon, released by police in Dubai yesterday, underlines the professionalism of the operation. The group switched hotels several times and wore disguises including false beards and wigs, while surveillance teams rotated in pairs through the hotel lobby, never hanging around for too long and paying for everything in cash…
Throughout the operation, none of the suspects made a direct call to any another. However, Dubai police traced a high volume of calls and text messages between three phones carried by the assassins and four numbers in Austria where a command centre had apparently been established.
Follow the link for details of the hit. One bizarre footnote to all this: Evidently the passports used by the assassins match those of Israeli citizens who are unconnected to the operation. Essentially, Mossad stole their identities and now the innocents are left to deal with the consequences.
Exit question: How on earth did Dubai intelligence put all these pieces together so quickly?