The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating investigative report into why, more than eight months and 30 suspects later, we still don’t know much about who or what cinematically assassinated Hamas weapons operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. “A string of apparent dead ends has frustrated international investigators,” it reports, “lengthening the odds that anyone will be caught or that definitive proof of Mossad involvement will emerge.” (As a reminder, most of the signs point to the Mossad, though there also seems a likely chance that the Israeli spy agency received aid and comfort from some Arab governments or figures.)
Part of the problem? “Despite an initial burst of tough talk from various governments, some international investigators are concerned that politics may be hampering cooperation from some governments that support Israel. … Two senior American officials acknowledge the case is unusually sensitive because of Washington’s close ties with Israel.”
The hottest lead concerned the bearer of the real British passport for 62-year-old Christopher Lockwood. But Lockwood never appeared at his London address; and while his prior identity was thought to be that of one Yehuda Lustig, born in Scotland to Jews from Mandatory Palestine, it turns out Lustig was killed in combat during the Yom Kippur War. No dice.
The only arrest made has been that of Uri Brodsky (probably not his real name), who was apprehended in Poland and extradited to Germany for allegedly procuring a fraudulent German passport for one of the assassins. However—and I never cease to find this amusing—under the terms of his extradition, Germany could not charge Brodsky with espionage, because spying on Germany is not against the law in Poland. Upon extradition, he made bail and returned to Israel, and while his departure reactivated Germany’s warrant for espionage, well, good luck getting Israel to extradite him back for that.
Oh, and the Mossad? It continues neither to confirm nor deny involvement. Israel is not cooperating in any investigations.
In Global Hunt for Hit Men, Tantalizing Trail Grows Cold [WSJ]
Related: Murder in Dubai [Tablet Magazine]
Earlier: Poles Bar Germans from Jailing Brodsky