Mer tveksamheter om Dubaistoryn och om agenterna verkligen är brända
eller inte (inte, verkar det). Avi Issacharoff bevakar militära frågor
både gedigna kunskaper och utmärkta källor i IDF och
The passport photographs of the agents who assassinated Mahmoud al-
Mabhouh in Dubai were doctored so the agents would not be identified,
a Haaretz probe has discovered.
The discovery casts doubt on claims that the espionage agency that
carried out last month's hit on the senior Hamas operative committed
Various features of the people in the photographs, such as eye color
or the line of a lip, were changed - slightly enough so as not arouse
suspicion at passport control, but still enough that the real agent
could not be recognized.
According to the Dubai police, only a few of the agents were caught on
security cameras without their disguises. However, it had been assumed
until now that publication of the photos of the 26 agents had blown
their cover. Now it appears that the Dubai police still do not have
viable information about their real appearance.
Mabhouh was known for his disguises and for using various passports to
run weapons into the Gaza Strip, according to an associate who lived
in Gaza and later spent two years abroad with Mabhouh. The associate
told Reuters on Thursday that Mabhouh had several passports, all from
Arab countries, and had even undergone plastic surgery recently to
narrow his nose.
The associate also said that Mabhouh never revealed his plans to
anyone, not even his wife. He said Mabhouh always ordered his plane
tickets by himself, over the web or through a travel agent, and had
not visited Iran in the past three years.
Mabhouh's brother Fayek also told Haaretz that Mabhouh was very
cautious, and on his last trip, he did not even tell his family where
he was going. But a senior Hamas leader has intimated that Mabhouh was
not careful enough. Fayek said his brother flew to Dubai on a
Palestinian passport, but under an assumed name.
Mabhouh's killing has led to a wave of recriminations between Fatah
and Hamas and between Hamas and Israel. According to the Dubai police,
a senior Hamas official gave Israel information about Mabhouh's
flight. Some in Hamas have also criticized the fact that Mabhouh was
Meanwhile, the newspaper The Australian reported on Thursday that
Australian authorities had previously warned Israeli intelligence not
to use doctored Australian passports in its clandestine activities
around the world.
The Australian foreign minister at the time, Alexander Downer,
confirmed to The Australian that his government had warned Israel on
at least one occasion not to issue fake Australian passports to its
intelligence operatives. And a diplomatic official in Canberra told
The Australian that back in the 1990s, Australia also sought
assurances from Israel that it would not misuse Australian passports.
On Wednesday, the Dubai police announced that they had identified 15
more people suspected of involvement in Mabhouh's killing, of whom
three used forged Australian passports. Haaretz found that at least 10
of the 15 new suspects were carrying passports with the names of
Israeli citizens who are also citizens of another country.
In response to the report from Dubai on the forged Australian
passports, Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith held a
clarification meeting Thursday morning with Israel's ambassador to
Canberra, Yuval Rotem. Smith said the Australian government condemned
the use of Australian passports. He also informed Rotem that the
Australian federal police had opened an investigation and that he
expected Israel's full and transparent cooperation.
At this point, Smith added, there is no evidence that the three
Australians whose names were used on the passports, Adam Marcus
Korman, Joshua Daniel Bruce and Nicole Sandra McCabe, were implicated
in the affair in any way.