Back on January 19th, a senior Hamas leader went to Dubai and was found dead in his hotel room within a few hours of arriving in the country. Those are the agreed-upon facts. Everything else is disputed.
Dubai's police chief says that an 11-person assassination team killed him and that there is surveillance video showing them in action. (Nothing graphic.) Assuming that's what they are, it's pretty interesting to see these people walking around trying to act normally before, during and after the murder. The extraordinary thing is how ordinary they are.
The cause of death varies, depending on who you believe. Shooting, electrocution, poisoning and suffocation are all mentioned.
The victim is said to have a security detail but they were left behind because there wasn't enough room on the plane. And Dubai apparently didn't have anyone to cover him. That's just weird if he is who they say he is.
The assassins - if that's what they were - traveled mainly on British and Irish passports. Several of the passports were in the names of British citizens who live in Israel. That plus the fact the victim was Hamas clearly suggests a Mossad operation. Indeed, Israelis were initially cheering the Mossad chief when the murder first occurred. But now since the video came out and the allegation of the forged British and Irish passports was released, not so much:
The initial nods, winks and pats on the back here over the assassination last month of a senior Hamas official in Dubai are turning to puzzlement and concern as mounting evidence, including extensive surveillance footage, points to a remarkably clumsy operation many Israelis deem unworthy of their intelligence service, Mossad.
It's remarkable to me that the Israeli public is portrayed as only being concerned that the killers were clumsy. My guess is that this is just a case of people believing their own hype. Mossad agents aren't superheroes. In any country that had as many CCTVs as Dubai apparently has, you'd end up with pretty good video of an operation like this. They had to have figured burning all those operatives was an acceptable loss given the objective. Assuming any of this is true.