Dubai assassins used names of UK olim

6 Brits named by Dubai as Hamas man's killers have same names as immigrants.

mabhouh assassins 311 (photo credit: AP)
mabhouh assassins 311
(photo credit: AP)
Three olim expressed astonishment on Tuesday after discovering theirnames on a list of suspected hit squad members who killed Hamasoperative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room last month.
Of the 11 people named by Dubai police as being members of the allegedassassination team, six have the same names as British-Israeli citizensliving in Israel, and one is a German-Israeli woman, Channel 10 said.
Analysts have argued that intelligence agents traveling with falsedocuments are more likely to get past border controls if they use thenames of “real” people.
Related:Analysis: Dubai hopes for quick Mabhouh case closure
Paul Keeley, a British oleh who lives at Kibbutz Nahsholim, toldChannel 2 that he had been inundated with calls from British mediaoutlets since the list of names was publicized.
“I’m in shock and I don’t even understand what I’m seeing,” he said.Referring to the photograph of alleged hit-squad member “Paul Keeley”disseminated by Dubai police along with pictures of other allegedassassins, the Nahsholim resident added, “It doesn’t even look likeme.”
Keeley moved to Israel 15 years ago, and said his passport had not been lost or stolen.
“I am just a father, a husband, and a kibbutz resident,” he said.
Another British oleh whose name appears on the list, Steven DanielHodes, said, “I am in complete shock and I don’t understand what isgoing on. I don’t know how they got to me. That’s not my picture, ofcourse. I haven’t left the country in two years, and I certainly havenot been in Dubai. I don’t know who is behind this. I’m scared.”
Michael Lawrence Barney, a third oleh who found his name on the list,told Channel 10 on Tuesday, “This is a mistake or a case of identitytheft, but it isn’t me. That’s for sure.”
Hamas has blamed Israel’s Mossad for the assassination and vowedrevenge. Dubai police have said they do not rule out Mossadinvolvement, but have yet to formally accuse the organization of thekilling.
At least three additional names on the hit squad list – JonathanGraham, James Clarke and Michael Bodenheimer – bear similarities to thenames of Israeli citizens, though Graham and Clarke have told Ynet thatthey have different middle names.
Bodenheimer’s daughter said her father is an Orthodox man living inBnei Brak, and that he had immigrated to Israel from the US 30 yearsago.
The London Times reported onTuesday that British authorities had launched an investigation todetermine “how six British nationals apparently had their identitiesstolen by suspected Mossad agents to cover their tracks on a mission toassassinate a top Hamas leader in Dubai.”
The newspaper said that Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office“confirmed that the identities in the British passports used by sixmembers of the 11-strong hit squad were those of real British passportholders,” adding that the passports used by the hit squad were forged.
One possibility being investigated is that “British passport detailswere copied from the originals by immigration staff while the holderswere traveling,” according to the Times.
A number of Mossad operations, including those involving the use offoreign passports, have caused diplomatic strains with Westerncountries in the recent past.
In 1997, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was targeted for assassination bytwo Mossad agents in Jordan. The agents entered Jordan with forgedCanadian passports and injected Mashaal with poison. They were arrestedby Jordanian security forces soon after the attack. Jordan’s KingHussein demanded that Israel save Mashaal by providing him with thepoison’s antidote, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu acquiesced.
Israel was also forced to release Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin in exchangefor Jordan’s release of the two agents. The episode strained diplomaticrelations with Jordan and Canada.
In 1998, five Mossad agents were apprehended in Switzerland attemptingto bug the phone of Abdallah el-Zein, a Swiss-Lebanese man suspected ofbeing part of a Hizbullah network that was plotting terrorist attacksagainst Israel. One agent, code-named Isaac Bental, was caught inpossession of surveillance equipment, and was charged in a Swiss court.He was released after Israel paid a $2 million bail.
In 2004, two suspected Mossad agents were jailed for six months in 2004in New Zealand after being convicted of attempting to fraudulentlyreceive a New Zealand passport. One of the men entered New Zealand on aCanadian passport, drawing criticisms from the Canadian government. NewZealand strongly condemned the incident.