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Old 02-17-2010   #41
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maybe someone wanted it to look like the Israelis did it. anyone taking a whack at a Hamas leader had to know Israel would get blamed for it no matter who actually did it. OBL could get drunk and shoot an Al-Jazeera news anchor on live TV and someone would still blame the Mossad.
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Old 02-17-2010   #42
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maybe someone wanted it to look like the Israelis did it. anyone taking a whack at a Hamas leader had to know Israel would get blamed for it no matter who actually did it. OBL could get drunk and shoot an Al-Jazeera news anchor on live TV and someone would still blame the Mossad.
What you say may be generally true, but in this SPECIFIC case, the kicker is in the details: what hamas intelligence agency has the wherewithal to find the passport information of 11 Europeans with Israeli connections?
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Old 02-17-2010   #43
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What message could be worth this kind of nonsense?
Sow fear and discord amongst the enemy, and their financiers and suppliers. It lets the enemy know that they are not even safe in the peaceful sanctuary of Dubai. Israel has also been trying to bolster its deterrence credibility since the 2006 Lebanon war.

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Israel may have the self-image of a superpower, but its still a relatively small country and its protectors are not going to take infinite pains for its sake...this seems very stupid to me.
The U.S. Congress will.
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Old 02-17-2010   #44
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And i would add that IF some other intelligence agency did this, then Isreal's goose is cooked more thoroughly than we think: The whole balance of power in this case is supposedly based on Israel and US having such immense superiority in skills that it completely overcomes any advantage Israel's opponents have in numbers...if those opponents are this good with the passports and personal info of people living in Israel or linked to Israel, then its time to short your bets on Israel...
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Old 02-17-2010   #45
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If Israeli secret services did this (and they must be top of the list of suspects right now), then this is exceptionally stupid. It reeks of arrogance AND stupidity. What message could be worth this kind of nonsense? Israel may have the self-image of a superpower, but its still a relatively small country and its protectors are not going to take infinite pains for its sake...this seems very stupid to me.
Ambiguity coupled with apparently irrational or unpredictable behavior can be a precious ressource. But it can also come at a high price.

Even the most secret Secret Services are staffed with humans and errare humanum est, so something could have gone wrong, or perhaps extremely well.


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Old 02-17-2010   #46
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There's no particular downside to the Israelis from this hit (other than a few Mossad operatives whose photos have now been circulated). It sends a message, possibly prods Hamas into a poetentially self-destructive mole-hunt, removes an effective operative, and pays off well domestically.

Had they botched it--as they did in Lillehammer in 1973, Amman in 1997, or Auckland in 2004 it would have been a different matter. Also, unlike the Mishal assassination attempt in Jordan, I don't think Israeli relations with Dubai/UAE are of particular concern to the Netanyahu government (although Wilf might want to be careful next time he's traveling to or via the Gulf!)
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Old 02-17-2010   #47
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There's no particular downside to the Israelis from this hit (other than a few Mossad operatives whose photos have now been circulated). It sends a message, possibly prods Hamas into a poetentially self-destructive mole-hunt, removes an effective operative, and pays off well domestically.
Wallah! Can't argue with any of that. Nice to see some opinion based on actual understanding.
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although Wilf might want to be careful next time he's traveling to or via the Gulf!
Well I think I failed the Institute amateur-night try-outs back in my twenties, and these days everyone knows where I stand....
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Old 02-17-2010   #48
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I disagree with the notion that it sows fear and confusion. If anything, it shows that they cannot do this every day. And whatever fear and confusion there is in the arab world, its imaginary conspiracy variant is already a few hundred times bigger than any real capabilities the Israelis have. I dont see this adding much to that "fear".
I also disagree with the statement that there is no downside. It is always unsafe to assume that current trends will persist forever. Military capabilities are ultimately tied to resources and capabilities of the society fielding that military. There is a large gap between the capabilities of Israeli (and US) society and Arab societies, but its not an infinite gap. Its going to close someday. Meanwhile, Israel is dependent on US support (European support has never been as impressive and is already declining) and that support is easier to provide when it is relatively cheap. When it gets hugely expensive and starts to bite, then the best of friends will start to think twice. Long before Arab military capabilities come close to Israel's, the Arab's ability to manipulate public opinion will improve to the point that US opinion will shift. These shenanigans bring that day closer, so they are not smart from an Israeli point of view. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-17-2010   #49
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I see this as nothing but a win for the Israelis, not just because their adversary was killed, but because everybody is now talking about it, and regardless of whether Israel confirms or denies it, everybody is assuming that they did it. Message: we wanted you dead, and now you are. My only gripe is that nobody seems to see an issue with some supposed man of the people living the high life in Dubai. This is some "freedom fighter" who is fighting for the little guy, right? But he's living large in Dubai? Was he also pimpin around Gaza in an Escalade?
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Old 02-17-2010   #50
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I disagree with the notion that it sows fear and confusion.
The fear and confusion stems from the possibility that the presumably highly compartmentalized information on al-Mabhouh's mission might have been leaked from within Hamas, or through compromised means of communication. Certainly Hamas as an organization won't be intimidated.

What will be interesting--and in this regard, the operation could have negative consequences for Israel--is whether Hamas lifts its self-prohibition on external operations (ie, those outside Palestine) to retaliate against an Israeli target in a third country.

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My only gripe is that nobody seems to see an issue with some supposed man of the people living the high life in Dubai.
He appears to have been in Dubai for operational reasons, Schmedlap--he didn't live there
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Old 02-18-2010   #51
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The U.S. Congress will.
Amen to that.

Omar, the Israelis have been caught red-handed spying on the U.S. several times. A U.S. Congressperson was caught on tape agreeing to try to interfere with an investigation of said spying with a suspected Israeli intelligence asset, signing off by saying "this conversation doesn't exist." There really isn't much that Israel can't do that Congress won't sign off on.
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Old 02-18-2010   #52
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It's all a bit of a soap-opera...the BBC's reaction that the UK passports was a bit melodramatic...the photos were obviously fake - big grins, large glasses, wigs, I expected some dodgy porn-facial hair, but was disappointed!

So who dunnit? Well, from one perspective, who cares...a very bad man is not with us anymore.

And I don't see this as bad for the Israelis...the rest of the nations have deployed hundreds of thousands of soldiers in prolonged campaigns, spent billions, suffered hundreds of casualties, and thousands of civilians have died and we don't have our man...the Israelis quietly located this guy and dealt with him...that Gentlemen is deterrence that an insurgent can understand. More of the same, I hope.

Whilst I'm on my soapbox, I find the fact that Dubai is preparing to ask InterPol to issue arrest warrants laughable...I don't presume that Dubai was very busy trying to arrest this guy living under their noses in the lap of luxury?
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Old 02-18-2010   #53
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that Gentlemen is deterrence that an insurgent can understand.
Oh, it's certainly not deterrence in any form. It might damage operational effectiveness somewhat, but it won't have any effect on the willingness of Palestinians to join, or support, Hamas.
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Old 02-18-2010   #54
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It's all a bit of a soap-opera...the BBC's reaction that the UK passports was a bit melodramatic...the photos were obviously fake - big grins, large glasses, wigs, I expected some dodgy porn-facial hair, but was disappointed!

So who dunnit? Well, from one perspective, who cares...a very bad man is not with us anymore.

And I don't see this as bad for the Israelis...the rest of the nations have deployed hundreds of thousands of soldiers in prolonged campaigns, spent billions, suffered hundreds of casualties, and thousands of civilians have died and we don't have our man...the Israelis quietly located this guy and dealt with him...that Gentlemen is deterrence that an insurgent can understand. More of the same, I hope.

Whilst I'm on my soapbox, I find the fact that Dubai is preparing to ask InterPol to issue arrest warrants laughable...I don't presume that Dubai was very busy trying to arrest this guy living under their noses in the lap of luxury?
pacifist, I find nothing surprising in your letter, but I do have a prediction: In a few years, the media equation will start to change AND the costs of blindly supporting Israel will accelerate until even the rich and powerful US will have to think twice before spending billions carrying water for Israel all over the world...then, these apparently "normal" views will change.
Dont take my word for it, just be willing to rethink assumptions and look around...you will see that this situation is not tenable forever. It is in the interest of the Israeli people to make a reasonable peace with the Palestinians. Trying to beat and bludgeon their way out of this will not work.
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Old 02-18-2010   #55
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The fear and confusion stems from the possibility that the presumably highly compartmentalized information on al-Mabhouh's mission might have been leaked from within Hamas, or through compromised means of communication. Certainly Hamas as an organization won't be intimidated.

What will be interesting--and in this regard, the operation could have negative consequences for Israel--is whether Hamas lifts its self-prohibition on external operations (ie, those outside Palestine) to retaliate against an Israeli target in a third country.
I agree mostly. As I wrote before it is hard to say which positive and negative impacts this possibly Mossad coup will have. We should not just look at the "bright" side.


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Old 02-18-2010   #56
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Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
pacifist, I find nothing surprising in your letter, but I do have a prediction: In a few years, the media equation will start to change AND the costs of blindly supporting Israel will accelerate until even the rich and powerful US will have to think twice before spending billions carrying water for Israel all over the world...then, these apparently "normal" views will change.
Dont take my word for it, just be willing to rethink assumptions and look around...you will see that this situation is not tenable forever. It is in the interest of the Israeli people to make a reasonable peace with the Palestinians. Trying to beat and bludgeon their way out of this will not work.
@omarali50: My issue doesn't concern the rights or wrongs of the Israeli occupation - just their ways and means of dealing with this particular adversary in contrast to ours. Generally, Israel's actions don't get my vote.
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Old 02-18-2010   #57
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Brits don't seem too happy their passports were used:

Quote:
Ministers are understood to be furious that an alleged hit squad which murdered a Hamas leader in Dubai last month cloned the passports of six unsuspecting Britons, who are now living in fear of reprisals.

Israel, which has not denied involvement in the murder, had previously promised that Mossad, its secret intelligence service, would never use British passports to help its agents carry out covert operations.
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Old 02-20-2010   #58
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Default Hamas: Suspects in Dubai killing include Fatah men

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...021901511.html

Apparently Israel isn't the only suspect as we already know.
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Old 02-20-2010   #59
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Default the scenario (may be)

On Slate.fr, they present a reconstitution of the events minutes per minutes(not translated) for those who are interrested.
Sorry did not have time to translate it in english

Quote:
19 HEURES AVANT LE MEURTRE


Le commando était constitué de onze membres. Quatre membres sont arrivés d'Allemagne, deux de Suisse, trois d'Italie et deux de France.

19 Janvier 2010
12h09: Michael et James arrivent à l'aéroport de Dubaï
12h30: Gail et Kevin arrivent de France par le vol AF526
12h58: Michael et James traînent leurs valises et s'enregistrent à la réception d'un hôtel.
01h21: un taxi dépose Gail Foliard à qui l'hôtel attribue la chambre 1102. Elle se présente à la réception en pantalon, avec une queue de cheval et des lunettes teintées. Un garçon d'étage l'aide à porter ses valises jusqu'à sa chambre.
01h31: un taxi dépose Kevin Daveron à la chambre 3308 dans le même hôtel que Gail. Les services de surveillance précisent que les protagonistes n'ont pas directement communiqué entre eux avec leur téléphone. Mais ils ont par la suite découvert qu'il y a eu des appels suspects vers des numéros internationaux basés en Autriche. On soupçonne qu'ils étaient en relation avec leur centre de commandement en utilisant des moyens de communications cryptées de très haut niveau.
02h29: un agent possédant le passeport français au nom de Peter Elvinger, né le 10/10/1960, arrive à Dubaï avec un bagage suspect.
02h30: Peter quitte l'aéroport puis revient plus tard.
02h39: Peter, après s'être assuré autour de lui qu'il n'était pas suivi, rencontre un membre de l'équipe à l'aéroport avant de prendre un taxi.
02h40: les deux personnes quittent l'aéroport dans deux directions différentes, l'une d'entre elles a été filmée au parking souterrain.
02h46: Peter Elvinger s'enregistre à un hôtel et occupe la chambre 518. Il porte une casquette blanche qui masque une partie de son visage barbu, un Tee-shirt à rayures bleues et un pull sur les épaules.
10h30 : Peter visite un centre commercial à Dubaï.
10h30: trois membres de l'équipe arrivent au centre commercial.
10h50: Kevin et Gail arrivent au même centre commercial.
11h30: Gail, en pantalon blanc, quitte seule le centre commercial.
12h18: Kevin quitte à son tour le centre commercial en compagnie d'une femme non identifiée.
12h41: deux autres membres quittent le centre.
13h30: Kevin se rend à la réception de l'hôtel pour enregistrer son départ. Il est ensuite filmé à la sortie de l'hôtel en train de prendre un taxi.
13h45: Kevin, arrivé chauve, se présente à un autre hôtel après avoir modifié son apparence en se grimant avec une perruque noire et des grosses lunettes.
14h12: une équipe de surveillance de deux personnes, très voyants en tenue sportive et en short, arrive à l'hôtel Al Bustan Rotana.
14h14: Kévin déguisé arrive à un autre hôtel avec une valise à roulettes.
14h21: deux membres de l'équipe arrivent au même hôtel que Kévin.
14h30: un membre de l'équipe de surveillance s'installe à un l'hôtel où la victime est censée arriver, mais il le quitte après avoir eu la confirmation que la victime était inscrite ailleurs.
14h41: Peter quitte définitivement son hôtel et règle sa note auprès de la réception.
15h12: Gail quitte, elle aussi, définitivement son hôtel.
15h19: toute l'équipe de surveillance attend la victime dans le lobby de l'hôtel.
15h20: la victime arrive à l'aéroport de Dubaï et est repérée et suivie par un membre du commando qui communique immédiatement avec les autres membres.
15h23: une voiture dépose un membre de l'équipe dans le même hôtel que Kevin et les autres membres.
15h24: Peter arrive dans ce même hôtel dans une voiture de location avec chauffeur.
15h25: Gail s'installe dans un autre hôtel pour se déguiser et modifier son apparence. Elle ne porte plus de queue de cheval mais une perruque brune qui lui couvre une partie du visage.
15h25: Mabhouh arrive à la réception de l'hôtel Rotana, encadré au guichet par deux membres dont un petit gros en short et en tenue de sport voyante avec une raquette de tennis. La victime est accompagnée d'une hôtesse qui l'introduit dans l'ascenseur. Deux membres déguisés en sportif le suivent dans l'ascenseur et le suivent jusqu'à la chambre 230.
15h30: Les deux membres sont filmés en train d'utiliser un matériel de communication sophistiqué de type téléphone. Ils attendent sur le palier près de l'ascenseur le retour de l'hôtesse qui venait d'accompagner la victime et plaisantent avec elle.
15h32: Le numéro de la chambre, 237, face à celle de la victime, est communiqué au reste de l'équipe.

CINQ HEURES AVANT LE MEUTRE

15h47: Gail arrive dans le même hôtel que toute l'équipe.
15h51: Peter coiffé d'une casquette sombre entre dans un centre commercial voisin. Il téléphone à l'hôtel pour réserver la chambre 237 et simultanément, réserve un vol pour Munich via le Qatar.
16h03: une nouvelle équipe de surveillance arrive en complément de celle déjà sur place.
16h14: Kévin quitte son l'hôtel et se dirige vers l'hôtel Rotana en taxi.
16h16: Gail quitte aussi son hôtel en taxi accompagnée par un membre de l'équipe et se dirige vers Rotana.
16h23: Mabhouh quitte seul sa chambre d'hôtel et se dirige vers l'ascenseur suivi par un membre du commando. Il quitte ensuite l'hôtel.
16h24: un membre du commando transmet aux autres membres la description de la voiture de la victime puis réintègre sa place de surveillance.
16h25: Kevin, couvert d'une casquette, arrive à l'hôtel Rotana.
16h27: Peter arrive à l'hôtel Rotana et remet son sac à Kévin.
16h33: Peter s'enregistre à la réception qui lui remet la clef de la chambre 237.
16h40: Peter quitte l'hôtel après avoir donné sa clef à Kévin.
16h44: Kévin intègre la chambre 237 avec la valise que lui a remise Peter.
17h06: Gail déguisée avec une grande perruque arrive à l'hôtel et se dirige vers la chambre 237.
17h36: un membre toujours coiffé d'une casquette et portant un postiche arrive à l'hôtel et se rend dans la chambre 237.
18h21: Gail quitte la chambre emportant plusieurs paquets qu'elle doit distribuer aux autres membres de l'équipe dans le parking souterrain. Puis elle réintègre la chambre.
18h32: la première équipe d'exécution, en tenue décontractée et toujours coiffée de casquettes, arrive à l'hôtel en se rendant directement dans la chambre 237.
18h34: une deuxième équipe d'exécution, portant les mêmes casquettes, arrive à l'hôtel, se dirige vers la chambre 237 en portant des sacs lourds.
18h41: une nouvelle équipe de surveillance, un couple dont la femme n'est pas Gail, grimée de perruques et de grosses lunettes, portant de grands chapeaux de paille, arrive à l'hôtel pour remplacer l'équipe sur place. On la voit utiliser du matériel de communication près de la réception de l'hôtel.
18h42: la première équipe de surveillance quitte l'hôtel pour éviter d'être repérée.
19h30: Peter quitte le pays par l'aéroport de Dubaï. Il est filmé par les caméras de surveillance de l'aéroport en train de faire la queue pour passer les contrôles policiers.

UNE HEURE AVANT LE MEUTRE

20h00: Kévin est en surveillance sur le palier de l'ascenseur en train d'utiliser son téléphone.
20h01: après le départ du personnel de l'hôtel, l'équipe tente d'entrer dans la chambre 230, mais Kévin les prévient qu'elle doit d'urgence la quitter quand l'ascenseur s'arrête à l'étage et qu'un vrai touriste en sort. Le contrôle informatique d'accès de l'hôtel a enregistré une tentative de reprogrammer l'accès à la chambre 230.
20h24: Mabhouh retourne à son hôtel. On le voit sortir seul de l'ascenseur pour se diriger vers sa chambre en tenant à la main un sac de nylon contenant vraisemblablement un journal. Gail apparaît alors sur le palier en communiquant au téléphone après avoir rejoint Kévin chargé de la surveillance de l'étage.
20h27: Gail et Kevin se mettent en position pour contrôler le hall de l'étage pendant que l'équipe d'exécution opère.


20h46: Deux membres du commando d'exécution, devisant de manière très décontractée sur le palier de l'ascenseur attendent tranquillement. Ils sont immédiatement rejoints par deux autres membres et à quatre, casquettés de manière peu discrète, ils prennent l'ascenseur pour quitter l'hôtel.
20h47: Gail quitte aussi l'hôtel accompagnée d'un autre membre de l'équipe.
20h51: Kevin quitte l'hôtel en emportant sa valise.
20h52: L'équipe de surveillance installée dans le lobby quitte l'hôtel.
22h30: Gail et Kevin, filmés à l'aéroport, quittent le pays.

Le 20 janvier à 1h30, la direction de l'hôtel ouvre la chambre 230 qui avait été fermée de l'intérieur, avec la chaîne et la serrure intactes, après plusieurs tentatives de l'avoir au téléphone. Les premiers rapports médicaux faisaient état d'une mort due à une extrême pression du sang dans le cerveau.

Selon les autorités de Dubaï, Mahmoud el-Mabhouh était entré dans le pays sous le nom de Mahmoud AbdelRa'ouf Mohammed.

Les membres du commando ont été identifiés comme suit:

Kevin Daveron: passeport écossais, a quitté Dubaï pour Paris deux heures après le meurtre.
Gail Foliard: passeport écossais, a quitté Dubaï deux heures après le meurtre direction Paris.
Peter Elvinger: passeport français, a quitté le pays avant le meurtre.
Evan Dennings: passeport écossais a quitté le pays quatre heures après pour Zurich.
James Leonard: passeport britannique a quitté Dubaï 12h après pour Frankfort.
Melvin Adam Mildiner: passeport britannique, est part deux heures après pour l'Afrique du Sud.
Michael Bodenheimer: passeport allemand, parti trois heures après pour Hong-Kong.
Michael Lawrence: passeport britannique a quitté Dubaï 10h après pour Frankfort.
Jonathan Louis Graham: passeport britannique, parti trois heures après pour Hong-Kong.
Stephen Daniel Hodes: passeport britannique, a quitté Dubaï deux heures après pour l'Afrique du Sud.
http://www.slate.fr/story/17597/-mos...ute-par-minute
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Old 02-20-2010   #60
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How spy technologies foil old-school political killings


By R. Jeffrey Smith and Peter Finn
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 20, 2010

Quote:
The practice of secretly assassinating purported enemies of the state -- an age-old tool of foreign policy -- has run up against steadily improving international police collaboration and the global proliferation of surveillance technologies that make it harder for anyone anywhere to surreptitiously conduct a high-profile killing on foreign soil.

In Doha, London and now Dubai, political killers have been caught on film and tracked, provoking unexpected attention and controversy for the organizers. Because of new biometric technologies, the proliferation of cheap video, and sophisticated monitoring of customs points and airports, the skills of those who specialize in the creation of fictional identities have been tested, and sometimes defeated.
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