Part 2 of 3
Within days of the briefing at Mossad headquarters, Emirates flight EK912 to Dubai rose into the sky over Damascus, Syria. Aboard the plane was Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, traveling without bodyguards and using a false name. Syria had been the exile’s home since 1989, when Israel bulldozed his house in Gaza allegedly in retaliation for his involvement in the deaths of two Jewish soldiers.
Spies in the Damascus terminal had earlier communicated that the Palestinian had boarded his flight. On the highway below, a Mossad agent phoned the death squad in Dubai—via a call routed through an Austrian command center—that the Airbus A330 was on its way.
The Venice of the Gulf
Dubai is a city-state (emirate) situated on the eastern edge of the Saudi Arabian desert and the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. The so-called “Venice of the Gulf” is the chief port and commercial center of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the main shipping, trading, and communications hub of the Persian Gulf region. The UAE is a 32,000-square mile (300 miles x 260 miles) crescent-shaped federation of seven independent emirates—one of them Dubai—on the Arabian Peninsula, the federal capital of which is Abu Dhabi.
Political power in the UAE is traditional and hereditary, with the ruling family of each emirate representing its dominant tribe. Dubai has been ruled by the al-Maktoum family since it seceded from Abu Dhabi in 1833.
Yet only 17 percent of the UAE’s total population is native Arab (known as “Emirati”—Arabs with origins in the UAE); 83 percent consists of immigrants—two-thirds Asian (Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis, and Filipinos), and one-third Persian (Iranians) or Arab (Jordanians, Palestinians, and Egyptians). Although Arabic, the Semitic speech of the native minority, is the official language of the UAE, a strange consequence of mass immigration is that the most widely-spoken languages are all Indo-European: English, Hindi, Urdu, and Persian. Islam, the official religion, is the faith of 96 percent of the inhabitants.
Dubai’s Iranian expatriate community is estimated at 400,000—nearly 20 percent of the emirate’s total population. According to the neoconservative head of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,
Iranians work everywhere in Dubai: in the financial sector and in the construction, transportation, and hospitality industries. Daily flights connect Tehran and Dubai (it’s an hour and 40 minutes flying time), with 200 weekly flights between Iran and the United Arab Emirates, most of them to Dubai. According to Iran’s Consulate, a million Iranians pass through Dubai each year. Some come for business. Regime members and well-heeled loyalists are said to maintain luxurious weekend homes here.
January 19, 2010: The Stalkers
On January 18 and 19 at least 22 Jews (including 5 females) converged on Dubai under European cover, arriving via airline flights from Zurich, Rome, Frankfurt, and Paris. They checked into various extravagantly designed luxury hotels that line the city’s shore, including the Emirates Towers and the Fairmont.
From the moment Emirates flight EK912 from Damascus landed in mid-afternoon, the lone Palestinian was uninterruptedly tailed by members of the death squad, who monitored his whereabouts at all times. Making no direct calls to one another while in Dubai, the Jews routed international prepaid phone calls through their command center in Austria, utilizing highly encrypted communications devices. In surveillance footage they can be seen constantly holding phones to their heads.
Curiously, almost all of the killers wore head coverings—caps for men and hats for the women. Most (perhaps all) of those who did not wore wigs.
From the airport Mabhouh, closely tailed by surveillance teams in constant communication with one another, went directly to Dubai’s luxurious Al-Bustan Rotana Hotel. A Jew sidled up to the front desk, eavesdropping on the conversation between the victim and a female employee. Mabhouh was heard to request a room without a balcony.
The desk attendant escorted the guest to his room. Before the elevator doors closed, two Jews dressed in tennis outfits and carrying tennis rackets stepped into the car with them. They exited behind Mabhouh and the attendant on the second floor. One waited beside the elevator while the other followed the pair to verify Mabhouh’s room number—230. This Jew can be observed on surveillance video in the corridor passing near the victim’s door twice.
Twenty-five minutes after Mabhouh’s arrival at the Al-Bustan Rotana, hit squad coordinator “Peter Elvinger” of “France” reserved Room 237 by phone from the business center of Dubai’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. Room 237 was directly across the hall from the Palestinian.
Simultaneously “Elvinger” booked a flight out of Dubai. At the Al-Bustan Rotana he passed his room key to “Irishman” “Kevin Daveron,” a member of the core execution team. After visiting Room 237 for less than 10 minutes, he left the country via Qatar for Zurich before the murder was committed.
After an hour in his room, Mabhouh departed for four hours, shadowed by rotating teams of Jews. Meanwhile, two two-person surveillance teams remained inside the hotel, monitoring activity there all the while.
January 19, 2010: The Assassination
Two hours before Mabhouh’s return, four Jewish executioners entered the Al-Bustan Rotana and went directly to room 237. At this point the two surveillance teams inside the hotel were withdrawn and two new ones took their place.
Seven Jews comprised the core execution team, one of them a young Jewess with an Irish identity and the cover name “Gail Folliard.” Twice she can be seen grinning during the kill—once directly into the CCTV camera.
The corridor in the vicinity of the victim’s room had no surveillance camera, so the precise manner in which the killers gained entry to Mabhouh’s room remains uncertain.
Rooms at the Al-Bustan Rotana are equipped with programmable, card-access VingCard Locklink systems as well as deadbolts. During the Palestinian’s absence, hotel records show an attempt to reprogram the door access panel to Room 230. If the effort was successful, the killers were laying in wait for him upon his return. Otherwise, it is speculated that “Gail” or “Kevin” might have lured Mabhouh to open the door by posing as hotel staff.
“Gail” and “Kevin” monitored the elevator doors and hallway while the killers attempted to enter Mabhouh’s empty hotel room. “Kevin,” dressed in a suit and impersonating hotel staff, detained a guest who got off the elevator at this time. During the exchange it is believed he signaled the killers to temporarily withdraw. After a brief interval the unwitting female guest was permitted to continue down the hall past the victim’s room.
Mabhouh returned to the hotel in the early evening, after darkness had fallen and most of the hotel staff had left for the night. He can be seen on video exiting the second floor elevator as he heads for his room.
“Kevin” and “Gail” continued monitoring the elevators and hallway while the execution took place.
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was overpowered by at least four, possibly five, men. Although subsequent accounts differed, forensic evidence proved that the victim had been injected in the thigh with a skeletal muscle relaxant used as an adjunct to surgical anesthesia. The drug has also been employed as a paralyzing agent for executions by lethal injection. The victim died from asphyxiation, possibly smothered to death with a pillow while he was paralyzed. The killers left some of Mabhouh’s prescription medicine next to his body to suggest an absence of foul play.
Less than twenty minutes after Mabhouh had exited the lift, two of the executioners reappeared at the elevator door. One, wearing denim jeans and a green polo shirt, had a white, glove-like covering on his left hand and forearm. His companion carried a large bag. They stepped onto the elevator, but before the doors closed they were joined by the second pair of executioners. This pair wore caps and carried bulky shoulder bags.
A minute later “Gail” and an unidentified Jewish man who had been with the executioners down the hall while the murder was perpetrated boarded the elevator. Finally “Kevin,” the last to leave, exited the second floor four minutes after Gail and her companion had left.
Within two hours of completing their murderous task, the Jewish swarm of stalkers and executioners boarded international flights for Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Rome, Qatar, Bangkok, Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam. Many ultimately converged on Zurich, whence 8 flights into Dubai had also originated. At least two of the assassins are believed to have entered the US via a connecting flight.
The next day, Wednesday, January 20, 2010, at 1:30 PM in the afternoon, the hotel administration opened the door to Room 230 after repeated attempts to contact the victim had failed. The door “was locked from the inside with the latch and chain in place,” according to police.
Initial medical reports incorrectly stated that death was caused by an increase in blood pressure inside the brain.
1. An “emir” is an Arabian prince, chieftain, or governor. An “emirate” is the office or jurisdiction of an emir.
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