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Dubai Has DNA, Fingerprint Evidence of Dubai Assassins; Israeli-American Finance Company Provided Killers’ Credit Cards

Several interesting developments in the Dubai assassination investigation.  Al Arabiya reports that police authorities in Dubai claim that they have both DNA and fingerprint evidence providing 100% certainty of the identity of at least one of the killers.  The report doesn’t make clear precisely what this means: does it know the real identity?  Or does it have usable evidence which it can use to find the real killer?  Even if the latter is the case, Dubai can now make a case for demanding DNA swabs from the Mossad to verify that its agents were not the killers.  Israel of course will refuse.


Yuval Tal Interview


Clayton Swisher writes a strong post arguing the case for U.S. involvement in the investigation as financial dealings here enabled the killing.  Turns out, a former officer in an elite IDF unit runs a financial services firm, Payoneer, in the U.S. and he arranged for the credit cards used fraudulently by the killers.

Payoneer also has a research and development centre based in Tel Aviv.   (I find it mildly amusing that Payoneer is pimped out on the Birthright Israel website).

I also find the Payoneer connection interesting given that its CEO is Yuval Tal, a former Israeli special forces commando. Mr Tal did not exactly conceal his prior affiliations when he appeared on Fox News during the 2006 Lebanon war. He opined then that “this is a war that Israel cannot afford to lose”.

If Tal or his Payoneer firm are in any way involved in the conspiracy to help a foreign intelligence service (like, say providing Mossad operatives with credit cards), he may soon find himself in his own battle with little prospects of winning – in a US courtroom.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the lead agency with statutory authority and responsibilities for investigating foreign espionage activities on US soil.  It’s a job they take seriously and with a proven record of not shying away from the numerous instances when America’s special ally played foul.

Swisher suggests grounds for the investigation and how it might proceed:

As an initial inquiry, I imagine case agents will subpoena all financial records associated with the fraudulently issued credit cards. This would include the original credit card applications, which requires such things as a delivery address (to mail the card to), social security numbers, dates of birth, and employment information.

If the applications were made on paper, then the documents may contain all manner of evidence, from handwriting samples to fingerprints. There will be a similar trail to pore over if the applications were made over the phone or electronically via computer.

I also smell money laundering, as the money was supposedly dumped into prepaid accounts to conceal its purpose and origination. So US investigators may even want to tap in on the US treasury department’s crack financial investigator, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN).

Then Swisher asks the $64,000 Question:

It’s not clear if the FBI is silently participating or if its officials are fence-sitting.

If it’s the latter, then they may want to consider the following:  if a foreign national was murdered on US soil with the help of credit cards issued in the Emirates, what sort of co-operation would they demand?

If you watch the video featuring Tal explaining his product you realize that the cards he offered would’ve been perfect for the Mossad since they were pre-paid and presumably would decrease the amount of complications for them in travel by their agents from country to country.  Even more strangely, Tal boasts that the cards are perfect for “publishers” or companies which have advertising affiliates since the cards can be “branded” and every affiliate or employee can have a card with the company’s logo emblazoned on it.  Why not have a Mossad corporate credit card courtesy of Payoneer?  Where is a good political cartoonist when I need one?  To help you along, here’s the Mossad logo: get to work!

There has been a deafening silence in the U.S. media on this subject.  It may not be a coincidence that Swisher published his post at Al Jazeera English.  Aside from reporting a U.S. connection, I’m not aware of any media outlet which has quoted any analyst or expert suggesting that the FBI get to work and do its job; or that the Justice Department and Obama administration demand that our financial system not be exploited on behalf of Israeli state terrorism.

UPDATE: I just discovered this new report in the Wall Street Journal which raises this tantalizing prospect:

Part of the focus of the probe, the person familiar with the situation said, is to determine whether the cards were issued and used in this way, and if so, where the funds that would have been funneled into the cards originated.

Realizing of course that Mossad will have done its best to conceal the origin of these funds, I wonder whether the FBI and Dubai will have any success tracing them.

Also surprising is this judgment by the Wall Street Journal reporter:

Israel’s international standing has suffered. As the uproar over fraudulent passports grows, some analysts are starting to question whether Israel, if it was involved, made a strategic blunder despite a tactical victory.

When a markedly pro-Israel paper like WSJ starts raising such doubts, you know the Mossad’s in trouble.

Haaretz reports the strange news that the Mossad apparently photoshopped the passport photos of the agents:

…A Haaretz probe discovered that the passport photographs of the agents who assassinated Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai were doctored so the agents would not be identified.

The discovery casts doubt on claims that the espionage agency that carried out last month’s hit on the senior Hamas operative committed grave errors.

Various features of the people in the photographs, such as eye color or the line of a lip, were changed – slightly enough so as not arouse suspicion at passport control, but still enough that the real agent could not be recognized.

I find this report, written by Haaretz’s military correspondent (and someone likely to have Mossad sources and a vested interest in showcasing them), dubious in some ways.  How do they know the photos would entirely prevent you from identifying the original killer?  On what basis can they make that statement?  I don’t see how altering the line of a lip or eye color would render positive identification impossible.  And I wonder if you can discover an image was photoshopped whether you can also reconstitute the original image by stripping away the layers of photo editing.

The second sentence of the passage is typical knee-jerk Mossad apologetics, which is why I noted the possibility of the Mossad fighting back in this story against the almost universal disparagement it has suffered in the world media.  For example, I find it odd that Avi Issacharoff would say that a Haaretz “probe” discovered the photoshopping.  What kind of probe?  What made him think to mount such a probe?  What was the nature of the photo alternation?  How was it done?  All questions unanswered by this story.

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  • Assaf February 26, 2010, 11:21 PM

    Great compilation and analysis Richard!

    I second you on the reading of the Haaretz story. What shills these “military correspondents” are!

    As one commenter to the Haaretz story wrote, if the supposed “doctoring” is light enough to fool the trained border control, then it is also light enough for personal acquaintances of these agents to see through it.

    • Richard Silverstein February 27, 2010, 9:28 PM

      Our trusty Mossadnik/Taglitnik commenter Pea has noted the real reason for photoshopping the images. Photo recognition software has millions of faces in it & the altering was prob. done to trick this software so its agent wouldn’t be recognized by a computer. But you’re right, this wouldn’t fool anyone who actually knew them. But Israel is counting on its own citizens not being willing to turn in such a person. And to whom would they turn them in? To the Israeli police? A lot of good that would do them. But perhaps an Israeli citizen will contact Interpol directly & cut out the Israeli middleman & so defeat the Mossad’s conniving.

  • Ewropean February 27, 2010, 3:50 AM

    Here are some backgrounds on Payoneer:
    – Payoneer is based in New York, and has its R&D office in Tel Aviv. Clayton Swisher writes about CEO Yuval Tal that he is a former Israeli special forces commando, and that on Fox TV he advocated the 2006 Israel war in Lebanon (the video has been removed).

    – The Payoneer website says: “our funding partners include Greylock Partners, Carmel Ventures, and Crossbar Capital”. Each one is, at least, Israel-oriented. Carmel Ventures is affiliated with Viola Group, together with four other Israel-oriented investment companies. And the linking pin at Greylock is Moshe Mor, at the Israel office, who “also served six years in the Israeli Army as a Captain in the Military Intelligence branch”.

    – Incidentally, the Israel organisation Taglit (Birthright) organises free travels to Israel for young Jews. Once admitted, it is obligatory to apply for the Payoneer prepaid card, and prepay an amount of money. The card offers cheap and secure availability of money in Israel. Were it for the benefit of the traveler only, it could have been voluntary. But this way Payoneer has the spending details of all such travelers.

    Now was an other agency, trying to frame Mossad in the process? This agency would have to create traces to Mossad. Leaving a Mossad-businesscard in the Dubai hotelroom would not do. Maybe it could leave a smoking uzi, but the unnatural death was meant to look as by natural cause, plus there was the detraction of introduced heartdisease related medication in the hotelroom. Instead, to create a Mossad-signature, that agency could have used the Payoneer-route to connect to al these Israel-related names, meant to deceive us. It would be very smart indeed. But why would they leave no tough trace to Israel in Dubai, and instead go into the heart of these Israel-related companies, with the enormous risk of being discovered in there (now or in the future), to put eleven smoking Mossad businesscards there for us to find?

  • Pea February 27, 2010, 7:04 AM

    Ewropean wrote: “Incidentally, the Israel organisation Taglit (Birthright) organises free travels to Israel for young Jews. Once admitted, it is obligatory to apply for the Payoneer prepaid card, and prepay an amount of money. The card offers cheap and secure availability of money in Israel. Were it for the benefit of the traveler only, it could have been voluntary. But this way Payoneer has the spending details of all such travelers.”

    When one’s application to Taglit is accepted, each participant has to make a $200 refundable deposit. That deposit is not refunded until the successful completion of the trip. At the end of the trip, participants receive Payoneer pre-paid debit cards loaded with their deposit. This isn’t money they typically spend during their trip. Taglit instituted this system in order to replace the hodgepodge of methods used to refund the participants in the past, a task that was left to their trip providers. Sometimes refunds would be late in coming and having to issue and deliver thousands of checks, or initiate thousands of PayPal payments was an administrative hassle. This way, refunds were treated uniformly across the board regardless of the trip provider thus eliminating inconsistencies and complaints. I don’t know what kind of valuable statistical data could be gleaned from $200 worth of purchases anyway – 87% of Birthright trip participants purchased Falafel from Moshiko while in Jerusalem using their Payoneer cards… 12% purchased condoms and 17% purchased female hygiene products.

    And yes, it is odd that the hit team used Payoneer as there are many alternatives out there for pre-paid debit cards that don’t have such an obvious link to Israel.

    As for the photoshopping of the images, this would be a standard thing to do in order to fool facial recognition algorithms used in security software. The changes could be very minor – a border agent wouldn’t notice anything amiss, but any security agency hoping to identify the culprits through their passport photos would not be able to do so using high speed software.

    Finally, the sort of photoshop editing used does not lend itself to reconstitution. Such alterations are typically done by hand and the only person with the original layers is the graphic artist that made the modifications. A little while back a Canadian pedophile was identified and arrested in Thailand on the basis of images of him that had been altered in Photoshop by applying a swirl over his face. The swirl was done via a standard photoshop plugin and in that case it was easy to unswirl the digital image and identify the perpetrator. All the Dubai police have is a second generation scan of the passport photos, making it virtually impossible to reconstitute.

    • Ewropean February 27, 2010, 11:17 AM

      The deposit is US$250, not US$200. The deposit is not available when you’re in Israel. It is obligatory to have that Payoneer card+account (it is assigned to you – no opt out). And that is as I wrote it above. Countless companies work with refundable deposits without requiring a specific bank, Birthright is the exception. Once you have the card, usage is optional. The site also states: “You may also choose to load the card with personal funds for spending”. Remains, how many of the travelers have other options for using ATM’s abroad. And is the spending pattern interesting? This is news for you: anyone who knows how to write “marketing” is more than interested in how you spend your money.

      • Pea February 27, 2010, 12:21 PM

        Correct. It is currently a $250 deposit. Birthright uses Payoneer because its situation is unique. The deposits were handled by the trip providers who determined whether the participants met the required standards to have them refunded. Thus if a participant was sent home for violating the rules or if they canceled their trip late etc. it was the trip provider who decided whether the refund would be sent or not because they were the ones on the ground. The Payoneer system saves a lot of administrative headache and prevents situations whereby some participants got their refunds immediately and others waited months. There’s really nothing nefarious about Birthright’s use of Payoneer. Also in my experience, I don’t know anyone on Birthright who loaded up their Payoneer cards with cash to be used on the trip. Most people used credit/debit cards, travelers checks or cash. I know they had the option but I never saw anyone use it. Most people simply took the cards and withdrew the cash back home.

        • Ewropean February 27, 2010, 5:01 PM

          I accept your first word “Correct” gracefully. I wrote about Birthright ‘incidentally’. I illustrated that Payoneer is multipleways involved in Israel. Now lets return to main street: Payoneer related to the Dubai killing.

        • Richard Silverstein February 27, 2010, 9:35 PM

          There’s really nothing nefarious about Birthright’s use of Payoneer.

          That’s what they told al-Mabouh at the hotel front desk when he asked about the guys in tennis outfits following him around. Nothing nefarious at all. That’s just the problem w. a national security state calling itself a democracy. You don’t know what’s transparent & what’s spooksville. Clearly, Payoneer is working hand in glove with Mossad on the Dubai assassination. IT’s highly doubtful that Mossad would make use of such a financial instrument w/o colluding w. the company involved in some way & the fact that the CEO served in IDF special forces would make him a perfect candidate. He might even BE Mossad for all we know.

    • DICKERSON3870 February 27, 2010, 2:16 PM

      RE: “…it is odd that the hit team used Payoneer as there are many alternatives out there for pre-paid debit cards that don’t have such an obvious link to Israel…” – Pea
      MY COMMENT: Yes, it is indeed odd to say the least. I would call it presumptive malpractice. And did Payoneer knowingly participate in this, and risk having the FBI delve into their records with a fine-tooth comb? Why would they do that? And why would the Mossad want to take a chance on causing Payoneer so much grief? Does Yuval Tal (and/or Payoneer) have an archenemy (or a cutthroat competitor)?

    • Dana February 27, 2010, 3:10 PM

      With regard to the use of the payoneer pre-paid cards: it’s really quite simple to figure out why the mossad agents would HAVE to use a “friendly” agency: the application for payoneer card requires a social security number in the US, and a US address. The passport names alone probably had no SSN associated with them as these were foreign nationals. Therefore, a SSN would have to be somehow generated, using these same names. These SSNs, if they are newly assigned (which wouldn’t be difficult to do) would have a credit rating associated with them. One that is quite low score, BTW, since there would be limited record of transactions in the US (except for the holder of the german passport pretending to be Budenheimer, who, apparently was a US citizen).

      The only other possibility is that the foreign passport name holders would use foreign credit background to receive the Payoneer card, as a way around having to provide a US SSN. Payoneer has offices and connections in Israel. Someone could have easily greased the wheels to get the card issued despite the lack of SSN, given that the individuals whose names were used were also Israeli citizens. The only way around this is to use European credit issuers and several were indeed used. There are simply no other options.

      As for the implications to the credit ratings of the original, genuine individuals whose IDs were stolen, well, it’d take them years to clean it up. No one cared about that, apparently.

      The idea that the use of Payoneer could have been a very clever part of a super-complex, infinitely brilliant false flag operation is preposterous. Were anyone other than Mossad capable of mounting such an operation, it would – and should – keep everyone in israel awake at night for years to come. I see little evidence of such sleeplessness.

      As an aside, if the FBI cares to investigate (a big “if”), they would find who were the sources that loaded the accounts, as Ewropean said. And that would make an interesting trail.

      So, for those who like to waive red herrings of “some enemy of israel did this” and “why would mossad do such a thing”, all one needs to do to answer this is to imagine the situation were it an Israeli politician who was offed in such a spectacular manner – say, somewhere in the world, may be in Egypt?. Then imagine the ensuing hoopla as any and all passports and credit agencies are put under the microscope. Then, look at the obvious lack of “hoopla” in the US in the current case. The obvious lack of alarm should pretty much tell us everything.

      • Pea February 27, 2010, 3:23 PM

        Yes. Except these weren’t credit cards. They were prepaid debit cards, no? Credit ratings wouldn’t matter at all.

        • Dana February 27, 2010, 4:08 PM

          Pea, they may not care what the credit rating is for a pre-paid card, but the applicant would still need a SSN, which has to be valid. And they would still pull a credit report if only to ascertain the validity of the name, SSN and any derogatory financial history such as criminal activity. Not to do so would be illegal, not only irresponsible. There are agencies in the US that regulate all financial transactions involving credit. Sure, pre-paid cards is a way around eg, bankruptcy limits, but the rules governing credit extension must still be followed. The reason for that is to have a trail for eg guard against racketeering and money laundering.

          Pre-paid cards is indeed a way for laundering money that the mafia uses as well. But they do so a lot more cautiously than there was the case here.

          OTOH, if you look closely, you’ll see a lot of commonality between tactics used to evade the law between the mafia and mossad. Unfortunately, the similarities do not end there. A disregard for law is a shared trait. Which is why both mafiosi and mossad operatives get the same kind of grudging respect if they successfully evade exposure or capture and the same kind of contempt if they don’t. The the price to be paid for working outside the law of the land is that there’s no mercy to be extended for failure. It’d be good to keep that in mind.

      • Ewropean February 27, 2010, 5:13 PM

        The 11 debit cards from Payoneer are not necessarily opened with the falsified Dubai (EU) passports. They could have been from any (abused) US-id. SSN, no bad $-history, whatever. Thats how debitcards work.

        Now what has FBI/CIA discovered in this, all those ten days?

      • mary February 27, 2010, 6:33 PM

        Prepaid debit cards do not require any credit check, however, to activate one issued in the US you must have a Social Security Number and a home address where your card can be mailed. I have used these cards for years, for internet purchases, but there is a process involved, no doubt as part of the Patriot Act. This is why the issuance of these cards to non-US citizens is very fishy – unless it was done by a company who could circumvent the normal procedures. It’s just too much of a coincidence here, that Payoneer is involved. I don’t think there is any conspiracy to make it look as though Mossad is guilty – they ARE guilty. No false flag operation. They’ve pulled these stunts many times, only now the world is looking more closely. It’s about time.

    • Richard Silverstein February 27, 2010, 9:24 PM

      Thanks for explicating the way Mossad, Payoneer & Birthright Israel operate. You seem like an insider possibly to all three. I wouldn’t be surprised actually if the Mossad uses Birthright to recruit potential agents or helpers overseas. Perhaps you are one.

      • Pea February 28, 2010, 11:15 PM

        Wow. I took the time to share my experience with you and this is what I get? I use Photoshop, I read WIRED magazine and I’ve been on Taglit and that makes me a “trusty Mossadnik/Taglitnik?” And then your statement “You seem like an insider possibly to all three. I wouldn’t be surprised actually if the Mossad uses Birthright to recruit potential agents or helpers overseas. Perhaps you are one” just takes the cake! I’m seriously shocked at this treatment. Was I disrespectful? Did I use foul or aggressive language? Did I even voice any kind of disagreement??

        All I can think of is that on another post I voiced a pro-free speech opinion because I didn’t want to set a precedent whereby college lectures become a heckler free for all. Yikes!

        By the way, one can purchase pre-paid visa/mastercard debit cards pretty much anywhere in the US. Any grocery store, pharmacy etc.

        • Richard Silverstein February 28, 2010, 11:37 PM

          I’m sorry for my tone being a little strident. But you apparently don’t realize the level of hasbara/attack that this blog faces fr. people w whom you prob. would feel quite comfortable. Your comment was actually quite insightful on all the subjects you mentioned so I naturally thought you might have “expert” knowledge not available to the rest of us. I have not, for example seen anyone connect the alleged photoshopping to any attempt to fool facial recognition software. If I was wrong, then I apologize. I note you didn’t say I WAS wrong. But I’ll take your righteous indignation as a denial which I hope was as you meant it.

          • Pea March 1, 2010, 12:15 AM

            I’m not at all comfortable with extremists and my behavior on this site has always been respectful despite the reception I sometimes get. I’ve read the crude attacks you receive and they often make me wince. This is why when I offer information or opinions I always try to be civil and respectful. And yes you are wrong! I don’t work for the Mossad!! I don’t think it’s in their mandate to troll blogs. You can Google “Facial recognition Wired Magazine” – and I have read all the articles that appear (in Wired). I also use Photoshop on an almost daily basis. Neither of these skills are particularly remarkable but given that I felt I had something to share, I did. I didn’t expect to be attacked though! For the record I do not work for any security, governmental or non-governmental agency or organization. I did however participate in Birthright along with about what? 130,000 other young Jews? I also staffed 2 trips as a Madrichah (glorified babysitter basically) so I do have some insights there, but again, nothing terribly remarkable.

          • Richard Silverstein March 1, 2010, 12:42 AM

            when I offer information or opinions I always try to be civil and respectful.

            Thank you for that. And I mean that.

            I don’t think it’s in their mandate to troll blogs

            Oh I think you’re quite wrong there. I trust the MFA, Shin Bet & Mossad spend time seeking out sites that are relevant to whatever issues are important to them. I know for a fact that this site has been monitored by the MFA & this was only what was above board according to my site stat referrals. I imagine that other visits by other agencies are done by proxy & in other ways that would leave no trace.

        • Dana March 1, 2010, 1:11 AM

          pea – regarding purchase of pre-paid debit cards: yes, those can be bought at convenience stores. But if you ever try to buy one for an amount exceeding $200. you’ll find there’s a problem. They are offered in units of $20. and $50. Some may be for as much as $200. But buying airline tickets and hotel rooms cost $1,000.’s. That’s where companies like Payneer come in. They allow replentishment of the card by third parties – for a feee, of course. i suggest you go to their web site and check out what they offer.

          Personally, I think this kind of service is needed in an increasingly global world. So nothing against the business model – the need is there and they are {one of several] companies filling the niche. The problem is that they were used by Mossad to finance its assassins team for a reason. Which is obviously to get around the requirement for SSN and US address. Please look into this some more and you’ll find out everything you need to know.

          Which is that 14 people used bogus names and passports to acquire credit in the US, with the ability to be paid by third parties. There’s simply no way to get around the SSN requirement without help.

          Now here’s what you should worry about pea: if mossad could do it so can mafia , other criminal networks and, of course, real, true-blue terrorists. I say, it’s mossad today and sex slave networks tomorrow. naturally, it may not be payoneer but there are others who specialize in other trades.

          Seeing how all the roads lead to Tel Aviv, why do you insist on some alternative fantastic shortcut?

  • Bessan February 27, 2010, 11:21 AM

    Does this mean that Treasury Secy Tim Geithner will instruct Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI), to add Israel to his portfolio, to protect the American people from financial entities that “fund terrorists and proliferation.”

    According to the Treas. Dept website, http://www.ustreas.gov/press/releases/tg06.htm

    “As Under Secretary, Levey leads an office that marshals the Treasury Department’s policy, enforcement, regulatory and intelligence functions to sever the lines of financial support to international terrorists, WMD proliferators, narcotics traffickers and other threats to our national security. In this capacity he oversees the Office of Terrorist Finance and Financial Crime (TFFC), the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Treasury Executive Office of Asset Forfeiture (TEOAF). “

    Levey’s office recently confiscated a mosque in New York, claiming it was related to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

    We, the American people, expect to see Levey confiscate any and every synagogue, office building, community center, and charity involved in transferring American funds to Israel or Israeli nationals, who have then committed crimes for which any other American would be held accountable as acts of terror.

    If middle-school children are charged with inciting terror when they bully their fellows in the playground, shouldn’t at least some iteration of terror law apply to Mossad that uses American institutions and cover to carry out the extrajudicial killing of the leaders of another sovereign?

    • Richard Silverstein February 27, 2010, 9:32 PM

      We, the American people, expect to see Levey confiscate any and every synagogue, office building, community center, and charity involved in transferring American funds to Israel or Israeli nationals, who have then committed crimes for which any other American would be held accountable as acts of terror.

      That’s a bit far-fetched. I’d be happy for Levey & Treasury to crack down on all Jewish groups with send tax deductible contributions to support settlements & settlers.

      • Bessan February 28, 2010, 6:38 AM

        We said the same thing, Richard: “confiscate [assets from groups] WHO HAVE THEN COMMITTED CRIMES of … TERROR.”

        actually, you go a bit further: you want to use Treasury to curtail settlements, not a terror act.

  • josh February 27, 2010, 3:03 PM

    There has been a deafening silence in the U.S. media on this subject.

    Maybe because they are unanimous in thinking that the world is a better place (this blog’s motto) with this terrorist killed an meeting his virgins. Richard himself doesn’t even mention Mahmoud’s name in the posts anymore because he isn’t even important in this story anymore.

    More seriously though, is the thinking that all this cloak and dagger in the media does not help to make the world a better place because one day the tables will be turned, not unlike the Toyota competitors who are piping up Toyota problems and risking having the media turn on them when some defect arises.

    • Dana February 27, 2010, 3:26 PM

      hey josh, is that like “the world is better off without sadaam”? kind of forgetting that more people died in far more horrible ways under the invading forces and ensuing bombings of the Iraqi population than even did under Saddam? not to mention the 4 M refugees and 5000 dead American servicemen…..

      And how do we know the world is better off without al-mahboudh? perhaps the world would be better still without freaking assassins running around like mafiosi, killing anyone they please, for reasons they keep to themselves, then just saying…”oops”!

      And why exactly was al-mabhoodh a “bad guy”? did anyone provide evidence? was he tried in a court of law? or do we take israel’s word for it? what word is that, exactly? Kind of like we took their word for Iraqi wmds and now Iran’s “nuclear weapons”….

      Actually, some of us are beginning to think the world would be better off if iran did get some nuclear capability – someone really should balance the nuclear stockpile of an outlaw state like Israel that’s apprarently capable of going rogue any minute. None of us can sleep well at night knowing Israel has these weapons aimed at god knows who or what: rome, maybe? athens? istanbul? baghdad? oil fields in saudi arabia? american installations? wouldn’t it be nice to know who are the potential targets exactly, especially given a serious massada complex taking hold in some camps…

      To me it seems that the same country that’s shown such disregard for it’s own people whose passports were pilfered, or for the interests of supposed allies, or for the lives of anyone not jewish, cannot be presumed to care much about anything other than what they feel like at any given moment. It is a super-selfish country that’s increasingly suffering from collective insanity. It can’t make any of us – in the world at large- comfortable knowing that Israel is going rogue, right in front of our eyes.

      • mary February 27, 2010, 6:36 PM

        Great comment, Dana. But with one small correction – Israel isn’t “going rogue,” it has always gone rogue. Only now, they may not get away with it anymore. I sure hope they don’t.

      • josh March 1, 2010, 3:04 PM

        It seems the world did knee-jerk criticize Israel for attacking Iraq’s nuclear attempt, this is the same.

        I heard an interesting radio commentary today which thought it interesting for the Dubai police to continue releasing a daily tidbit, even though this news (as most news items naturall run their course) is not in the public eye anymore. It seems that Dubai is trying to regain an image of a safe, neutral place to business, as well as warning to Iran which also uses Dubai as a go between for its business.

        • Richard Silverstein March 1, 2010, 6:16 PM

          even though this news (as most news items naturall run their course) is not in the public eye anymore.

          Hasbara #14b: when a subject is hot & heavy, pretend it is old news and no one in the world could possibly care about it.

          BTW, tell that to the countries whose passports Israel abused. It’s big news in all those countries & will shortly become bigger news here once it sinks in that we had 2 Mossad assassins in our midst this month & last.

          Is there anything in my post covering up the problem?

          You are nothing BUT a hasbara cover-up. Meir Dagan should be paying you good money. Well, actually you’re not very effective so perhaps it should be paying you a beginner’s wage.

          or [sic] accusing the Orthodox of being the only ones with a problem?

          Here’s some online homework I’m assigning you. Do a Google search of “rabbis & sex abuse” & tell me what percentage of the stories are Orthodox, Reform and Conservative. Then come back & report to the class about your results.

    • Richard Silverstein February 27, 2010, 9:09 PM

      You have violated the comment rules and future comments will be moderated & any future violations of the rule, which I urge you to read carefully, will result in losing yr privileges.

      Richard himself doesn’t even mention Mahmoud’s name in the posts anymore because he isn’t even important in this story anymore.

      He was never important to you but I dare say he’s quite important to his family & fellow Hamas members. I’ve written ten posts about this event & I & all my readers know Mahmoud al-Mabouh’s name quite well & I have mentioned it scores of times in those posts. He certainly is important as a victim & Israel has raised his stature higher than anything he could ever have done while living. Mazel tov Mossad! Another victory for the blue & white!

      Other than this the rest of yr comment bordered on nonsense.

  • Bessan February 27, 2010, 6:42 PM

    Josh wrote:
    “one day the tables will be turned”

    Please join me in pointing out to USian legislators, in thrall to Israel, that Israel was Iran’s bestest friend forever until Iran would no longer permit Friend Israel to loot its treasury and train its torturers and assassins. Then Israel turned on Iran and now seeks the destruction of Iran’s citizens — by sanctions, which are a form of warfare and which ineluctably result in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians.

    What makes US political leaders think that Israel will not turn on the US just as viciously as it has turned on Iran?

    Dana filetted the fish expertly: Israel is a nuclear armed rogue state; its the reality of every imagined fear Israel projects on Iran.
    There exists between Iran and Israel this distinction: Large segments of Israel’s population share the psychopathology of its leadership; Iran’s population resists and protests the predations of its government.

    As for USians, they are only beginning to emerge from their fog of ignorance; some are fully caught up in the pschopathology — ie. Christozionists; courageous protest or revolution is still a distant hope, tho Ron Paul’s straw poll success at CPAC presents the possibility of a nonviolent reformation of American foreign policy.

    “one day the tables will be turned….”

  • Ilene February 28, 2010, 1:35 PM

    I have to second these fears of Israel and add these points about what Dubai is uncovering:

    1. The Dubai Police Chief just said that the so-called victims of identity fraud may be collaborators. This would explain why Robert Fisk keeps harping on the fact that some of the passports are real. That opens up a whole new can of worms about what crimes the passport holders committed against the issuing authorities by allowing the use of these passports to commit murder.

    2. In Australia, the ASIO leaked details of its spying investigation into Israeli/Australian passport holders going back to Australia at the direction of Israel to change their surnames to Anglo names so that they could gain entry into Iran, Syria and Lebanon under cover of being Anglo Australians working for commercial companies. By this leak, Australia is saying that it is not complicit. What about the other EU countries? Is the same thing happening with their passports? In what sense would such a scheme be “not the acts of a friend?”

  • Pea March 1, 2010, 12:59 AM

    Well I have nothing to say on that topic, although I can’t help but chuckle at the image of Avigdor Lieberman reading this blog and getting all red in the face – as unlikely as that scenario might be.

  • Guy Littleford March 2, 2010, 7:36 AM

    Hey chaps…all very interesting this Payoneer stuff, but we know who dunnit, and that Payoneer is part of of the secret Apartheid Israeli infrastructure.

    The issue is this…Where the hell are these assassins?

    I submit that were they Palestinians, and had whacked an Israeli arms dealer in Dubai, a good number would by now have been banged up.

    Did Dubai and other countries let them go…Is that why the news of the assassination was held back?

    Our intelligence services definitely know some of the names…

    I’ll put money on it.

    Why don’t we?