DUBAI–Israeli media ridiculed the state’s intelligence service Mossad and its president who was believed to have ordered the recent assassination of a top Hamas military commander in Dubai. In late February, the newspapers published a series of cartoons mocking the way the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was carried out on Jan. 20, although the Mossad has long being a symbol of national pride in Israel for its accomplishments in clearing dozens of people deemed enemies of the Jewish state.
Sophisticated surveillance systems installed by Dubai in a bid to protect its status as a Gulf business and leisure hub have enabled it to piece together an apparent hit by one of the world’s most fabled spy outfits.
Less than a month after Mabhouh was found dead, police have issued photographs of 11 suspects that it has circulated arrest warrants for through Interpol. Dubai police chief Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan said he is 99 percent sure Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency was behind the killing and said that, if so, its chief Meir Dagan should face prosecution.
In a humiliating blow to the spy agency the general described the killers as “stupid” saying their moves were “traced second by second” by security cameras, which are everywhere and the emirate’s security-obsessed environment. Local intelligence services also employ a huge number of informants. “With 203 nationalities represented, just imagine the number of interpreters” used, said Kahwaji.
Security analyst Ibrahim Khayat said the pace of the investigation had shown that the Dubai police were “one of the best forces in the world.” He also emphasized that the emirate’s surveillance capabilities are used as an “instrument of protection not as a means of intruding on personal freedoms,” he said.
“The Mossad failed to take account of the capabilities and technical expertise of the Dubai police,” he said adding that the agency had “blundered by using fake passports, triggering a crisis with European governments [and] probably won’t be able to use most of the commandos ever again because their photographs and fingerprints were on the passports.”