The Mossad fixer who masterminded the assassination of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh is a Day of the Jackal figure who stole a dead man's identity nearly 20 years ago and vanished into thin air within hours of the killing, investigators have found.
The murder of the Hamas official in a Dubai hotel room two years ago today sparked an international outcry when it was revealed that the hit squad had used passports cloned from the identities of people in Britain, Ireland, Australia and France.
One of the British passports turned out to be genuine, issued to Christopher Lockwood, a bespectacled, middle-aged man captured on CCTV cameras in Dubai. In 1994 Lockwood had changed his name from Yehuda Lustig - a real Israeli who died in the 1973 October War.
"He was a real Day of the Jackal figure," a security official said. "He was never seen again. To all intents and purposes, he has vanished."
Police identified the hit squad in footage from CCTV security cameras - which have increased in number from 25,000 then to 100,000 now. - Read article
"The case highlighted the importance of having surveillance cameras in hotel corridors, so we added an article to our local law to make it compulsory for hotel managements," said Lt Col Khalifa Al Saleis, the head of protective systems at Dubai Police.
One person was arrested over the murder. Uri Brodsky, an Israeli citizen, was released on bail in Germany in August 2010, and flew to Israel.
Though the assassination was an obvious success, experts say that surveilance technology has won, and investigators now have more tools and enhanced intelligence sharing to draw connections with suspects. - Read article
In Gaza, the murdered man's family are angry at the lack of progress, and at Hamas's refusal to share the results of an internal investigation.
"The guys who killed my brother are probably in some other Arab country trying to do the same thing to someone else," said Hussein Mabhouh. - Read article
Anger towards Israel has since cooled. For Britain, who the hit squad had cloned a number of British passports, the present concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions has taken the heat off the assassins.
"The UK was genuinely furious over the use of the passports and it was clear from the investigation by Soca [Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency] that Mossad was behind it," a senior British diplomat said.
"But the brutal truth is that we are living in times that are far more dangerous than those posed by a few cloned passports. The gesture of expelling the Mossad station chief from the Israeli Embassy in London signified the UK's annoyance. Since then, we have had to get on with more important business where both nations have mutual interests." - Read article