Does this remind you more of Munich or Oceans Eleven?

Gulf News Dubai Wanted
Front page of the Gulf News yesterday in Dubai.

Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a senior Hamas military commander and a founder of the Al-Qassam Brigades, was assassinated in the luxurious Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai on 19 January (or 20th January, accounts differ). On the day of the incident, the Al-Qassam Brigades announced that he died of terminal cancer in a hospital in the United Arab Emirates, but nothing more was said publicly. The news of his murder was only made public ten days after the assasination occurred. The account of his murder is unclear — he was either suffocated, electrocuted, poisoned, or injected with a drug that induced a heart attack.

The Dubai police have asserted that the assassination team consisted of eleven suspects holding various European nationalities. Also, two Palestinians were arrested in Jordan and handed over to Dubai, suspected of giving logistical assistance. One has been reported to be a security official in the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority, which begs the question from Hamas and others: is Fatah teaming up with Mossad to target Hamas? (Rumors are rampant, however, and some think that this was a Hamas inside job, while others suspect Mossad.)

Of course, all of this is reminiscent of the film Munich, which narrates the allegedly true story about Israel’s covert assasination of people involved in the attack on Israel Olympic athletes in Munich in 1972. Seeing the newspaper, however, one of my (Muslim) colleagues said it reminded him more like the hooligans from Oceans Eleven.

Fun gossip and rumors:
* This could be evidence of expansion of Israel’s assasination policy.
* Police chief Dahi Khalfan has said he will issue an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if investigators show Mossad was behind the killing.
* Meanwhile, there was no comment from Dubai-based diplomats from the countries linked to passports carried by the alleged assassin cell: six with British, three Irish and one each from France and Germany.
* A former high-ranking Mossad official, Rami Igra, told Israel Army Radio that the assassination, despite looking like a professional job, was far too amateurish to be Isaraeli, noting that the assailants were seen on a security camera.
* Poor Jerusalem-based British citizen Melvyn Mildiner was shocked to see his name and passport number listed as one of the suspects. He told Reuters news agency that he has never been to Dubai and had no connection with the Mossad or the assassination.

About Curzon

Lord George Nathaniel Curzon (1859 - 1925) entered the British House of Commons as a Conservative MP in 1886, where he served as undersecretary of India and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Viceroy of India at the turn of the 20th century where he delineated the North West Frontier Province, ordered a military expedition to Tibet, and unsuccessfully tried to partition the province of Bengal during his six-year tenure. Curzon served as Leader of the House of Lords in Prime Minister Lloyd George's War Cabinet and became Foreign Secretary in January 1919, where his most famous act was the drawing of the Curzon Line between a new Polish state and Russia. His publications include Russia in Central Asia (1889) and Persia and the Persian Question (1892). In real life, "Curzon" is a US citizen from the East Coast who has been a financial analyst, freelance translator, and university professor; he is currently on assignment in Tokyo.
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6 Responses to Does this remind you more of Munich or Oceans Eleven?

  1. Roy Berman says:

    Is it just me, or does a combination of those two films sound completely badass?

  2. dj says:

    Here is a 27 minute video put together by the Dubai Authorities. If correct they seemed to have pieced a lot together. Maybe for Dubai’s own cover?

  3. I’m having a tough time believing this whole thing is as the Dubai officials present it to be. In reading the various media accounts (which began shortly after the story broke with suspicion of Arab state responsibility) and watching the Dubai vid DJ linked it’s reminiscent of a Pink Panther movie. The whole “Get Smart” approach with fake mustaches, wigs and seeming ignorance of hotel CCTV seems a bit juvenile for an agency that rendered Eichman and propagated operation Wrath of God. Additionally the cagey response of Israel’s minister of foreign affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, doesn’t quite fit. I think he’d be in either full force denial or spinning some semblance of apology if Mossad had propagated what would seem to be a colossal fuck up and operated in such an obvious fashion.

  4. If this wasn’t orchestrated by Israel, I’d be a bit surprised. It’s right up their alley.

  5. Curzon says:

    If Israel was this sloppy in it’s assassination work I’d be surprised.

  6. TimS says:

    Israel are occasionally that sloppy, look at the attempted assassination of Khaled Mashal in 1997.