Green Room

Why the Rush to Blame Mossad – Other Than Anti-Israel Paranoia?

posted at 5:17 pm on February 25, 2010 by

The world still roils over the assassination of Hamas senior commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai; perhaps a better word would be “hyperventilates“:

Last week, Israel’s ambassador to Britain was called in for an official reprimand by the Foreign Office. In Dubai, Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the chief of police for the emirate, has said he is “99 percent” sure that operatives of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, killed Mr. al-Mabhouh.

But I still haven’t seen a single shred of evidence that Mossad, Israel’s premier agency for intelligence, covert ops, and counter-terrorism, was behind the bizarre scheme… and several tantalizing bits indicating that they weren’t:

  • In general, the hit job was too elaborate, too complex, too Byzantine. Gas? Guns? Electrocutions? This is silly.
  • The 26-member hit squad was far too large for the job; that scrum was almost guaranteed to be found out!
  • The killers were clumsy enough to be caught on surveillance video, which seems very unlike the highly professional Mossad.
  • They stole the identities of real Israeli citizens. Far from pointing the finger at Mossad, I believe this curious fact points firmly away from that agency; why would they intentionally implicate their own citizens?
  • And a new piece of intel I’d not seen until today: According to Dubai intelligence, one of the best in the Middle East, two of the assassins chose a peculiar refuge to flee after the hit:

    Nonetheless, some details have emerged that do not track with traditional Israeli intelligence tradecraft. The Dubai authorities this week said two of the operatives fled to Iran.

Let’s do a little detecting. We need a suspect group that (a) kills Hamas members; (b) doesn’t mind implicating Israel; and (c) has some sort of affinity with Iran. Hm… that’s a toughie; unless, just possibly, the hit was actually carried out by Hezbollah.

  1. Hezbollah is fighting Hamas for control of Gaza and the West Bank; they have ample reason to want to assassinate al-Mabhouh.
  2. Hezbollah takes its cue from Iran, and no country on Earth hates Israel more than Iran. Killing al-Mabhouh — and ensuring that Israel would get the blame in the international community, which is always eager to blame the Jews for everything bad in the world, anyway — would send a tingle down Hassan Nasrallah’s leg.
  3. Hezbollah is Iran’s private terrorist group, which they send out to other countries and regions, notably Syria and the Palestinian Authority, to enforce Iran’s will. It makes perfect sense for Hezbollah assassins to flee to Iran for sanctuary.

To my thoughts, all signs point to Hezbollah, not Mossad, as the author of this plot. It seems that even the Devil can do a good deed now and again, albeit for his own nefarious reasons.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

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The fact that the suspects were clearly shown on the security cameras in the elevator area is pretty suspicious. I’m not as sure that Hezbollah was behind this, but I agree that it doesn’t feel like a Mossad operation.

Snidely Whiplash on February 25, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Seems pretty delicate for Hezbollah. If you can get into the building, and have all the bombs you want, and think mass casualties add emphasis to a political act, why bother getting into and out of a locked room?

Chris_Balsz on February 25, 2010 at 6:19 PM

Seems pretty delicate for Hezbollah……

If you want to replicate and implicate Mossad, you don’t do things your usual way.

OneEyedJack on February 25, 2010 at 8:00 PM


Whoever did it, did American interests a favor

Chris_Balsz on February 26, 2010 at 12:42 AM

We need a suspect group that (a) kills Hamas members; (b) doesn’t mind implicating Israel; and (c) has some sort of affinity with Iran.

You left out… (d) reads too many cheesey British spy novels.

I bet I could pen up ‘The Day of the Cackle’ in about a week. Hmmm….

percysunshine on February 26, 2010 at 7:57 AM

I thought it might have been Fatah, with the logistical support and training provided by the Israelis. It seems like everyone got something that they wanted out of this deal.

RPL on February 26, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Why the Rush to Blame Mossad


I applaud his assassination, no matter who did it.

Don’t get in the way of your enemy when they are destroying their own.

Disturb the Universe on February 26, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Well, before we found out how sloppily it was done, all we knew was, “Someone whacked a Hamas head guy in Dubai”. Which is awesome.

The only people we can think of who are that awesome are… the Mossad.

That’s why I assumed it was them. Because they’re awesome.

Is there an equivalent of “Pizza for the IDF” for the Mossad? A place where we can send fan mail and donations?

(Friend of mine said “Israeli bonds”.)

tigerinexile on February 26, 2010 at 12:35 PM

There is always the possibility that the Mossad is managed by the US Postal Service.

percysunshine on February 26, 2010 at 1:38 PM

There is always the possibility that the Mossad is managed by the US Postal Service.

percysunshine on February 26, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Nah, they delivered to a hotel room.

Chris_Balsz on February 26, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Actually, the fact that the suspects all used fake passports from dual Israeli nationals is evidence that Israel was involved so I am not sure why you suggest that is not a ‘single shred’ of evidence.

lexhamfox on February 26, 2010 at 6:29 PM

All of the people whose passports were cloned had immigrated from various countries to Israel. For it to have been Hezbollah, they would have to have a pretty good intelligence section to know the previous nationality of each person whose passport was cloned and used.

I doubt Hezbollah has that kind of vision into Israel.

We are left with only one possibility — an Israeli state actor. They are the only ones who have the knowledge and the motive.

unclesmrgol on February 27, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Even if it was the Mossad, it was a nation acting in its best interest, and I see no need for condemnation.

Sekhmet on February 27, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Good point/s, Dafydd … sure didn’t sound right that he didn’t have his bodyguards with him.

Karmi on February 27, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Nice piece, and I agree this is really fishy. Clanging a bunch of pots and pans and hanging out a sign that reads “This way to the Mossad hit squad!” isn’t, in fact, a Mossad M.O.

I don’t know if the perps came from Hizballah. What I do suspect is that this hit was a gambit in the ongoing tug of war between Iran and Saudi-sponsored Sunni groups for the “soul” of the Palestinian Arab insurgency.

Anyone who’s interested can read more in the comments at this blog post:

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