Why does this story fascinate you so much?

Look on any website, and this story about the killing of Hamas militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh has been most viewed for a number of days.

As well as real life murder, it has all the elements of a Hollywood script. Is this why we’re all fascinated by it? I love anything to do with spooks – Bourne, 24, James Bond etc…or is there more to it?

Let’s not forget that a man has died, the potential political fallout and the alleged use of fake passports.  Israel has used fake British passports in its operations before and Israel was cautioned about this by the British authorities in 1987. Or is this just about the continuing hostility between Israel and Hamas? If Israel was

56 Responses to “Why does this story fascinate you so much?”

  1. 1 steve
    February 18, 2010 at 15:29

    uh oh, islamists and lefties will have their panties in a bunch

  2. 3 Idris Dangalan
    February 18, 2010 at 15:31

    I hate framing, all these stories were so important to world,why? not fascinated.

  3. 4 Josephine Bacon
    February 18, 2010 at 15:32

    The BBC reported newspaper reaction to the Dubai assassination using fake or real passports as if it came from objective sources. Every one of the columnists quoted is violently hostile to Jews in general and Israel in particular but the BBC is too mendacious to admit this, just as they quote from the daily newspaper editorials without admitting the political affiliations of the press.

    The truth is that this is another brilliantly daring Israeli exploit, comparable to the Entebbe raid, the removal on Christmas Day of the five ships impounded by the French under De Gaulle, Wolfgang Lotz the “champagne spy” in Egypt, and so on. The western powers are madly jealous and wish they could undertake daring raids like the destruction of the Iraqi nuclear reactor which saved the world from Saddam Hussein and his original WMD.

    • 5 Mary Smith
      February 18, 2010 at 18:09

      UHH OH here we go again: I was waiting for the usual knee jerk reaction from the jewish lobby – a cry of “antisemitism” when doing wrong. !! Amazing how glibbly the word runs off their lips.

      This matter of “stealing” the tools to assassinate someone is not a new ploy used by the Israelis. The do have the unfortunate arrogance of feeling their are beyond accountability to internatioanl and human rights laws… in spite of all their protestations to the contrary.

      • 6 username
        February 19, 2010 at 11:52

        Uh Oh here we go again: I was waiting for the usual knee jerk reaction from the anti-Israel lobby – a cry of “blame Israel” when something happens. Amazing how glibly the words run off their lips.

    • 7 Griffin
      February 18, 2010 at 18:51

      Who is this bacon woman?
      There certainly was nothing brilliant about this dispicable under handed sneeky and ruthless act of cold blooded murder. The history of Israel’s actions of this kind is shameful. The British government is over loaded with the friends of Israel club and too often turns a blind eye to the constant bad and bulling behaviour of this uncontrolable middle eastern child that seems to wreak havoc when ever it likes on the pretext of defending its self. No doubt all will be swept under the carpet and forgotten and forgiven by next week. It is a sad fact that the policy of “Aggression is the best form of defence” will not change as long as the likes of those in the Isrealy government remain in power.
      The very frightening thing is that history very often repeats its self. Please God let the world not be witness to another holacoust.
      There must be a new mind set of mutual respect and fairness “Jaw jaw not war war”

  4. 8 Bruno
    February 18, 2010 at 15:33

    I’m following closely this story to see if, for once, israel will face the consequences of its acts, given the large anger this affair have raised around he world and among allies. or if, as usual it will just get away with it.

  5. 9 audre
    February 18, 2010 at 15:48


    Another blow to Israel but maybe not the fatal one.

  6. 10 Ibrahim in UK
    February 18, 2010 at 16:02

    People kill people in well-documented non-suspicious circumstances with and without Western involvement every day in the Middle East. What makes this one so different, I think, is a few reasons:

    1. It’s a new story we haven’t had a in while, and an interesting plot – movie material (think Munich)
    2. There is footage so the media can tell us the story and show us pictures
    3. It involves the Middle East conflict but also Dubai this time! (a popular holiday destination for Westerners.. or anyone with money really)
    4. It invovles abuse of British/Western identities (i.e. it involves us in the West)
    5. It involves a conspiracy! (always a hit)
    6. It involves the ridiculous coverstory that English people can play tennis.

  7. 11 JanB
    February 18, 2010 at 16:08

    It all sounds like a Frederick Forsyth novel, but I don’t believe there will be major repercussions (except Hamas being one man and one weapons delivery short and I think I can live with that). There is no real proof of Israeli involvement, though it is likely they had something to do with it.

    Anyway, I hope the two Palestinian alleged accomplices will be released soon. It would be a travesty of justice if they got hanged for killing a dangerous terrorist while women in the UAE can’t even report a rape without getting arrested themselves and where torturing an innocent man in the desert, even running over him with a car, goes unpunished. BTW, has anybody asked why the UAE let a known terrorist into their country and if they are investigating the reports about an arms sale to Hamas at all (you know, the stuff that would have gotten innocent Israelis and Palestinians killed if used?)

  8. 12 Cabe UK
    February 18, 2010 at 16:09

    I’m not fascinated with it – nor that anyone used a ‘Hollywood’ style script to execute this mission – Secret Services do this all the time – its just they never get caught…..
    …what I Do find interesting is that in the midst of ALL the terrorist activity around the Globe – this is one of the very few reportings of a actual RESULT against any one terrorist organisation… !

  9. 13 haider meghjee
    February 18, 2010 at 16:19

    immagine the outrage if a palestinian group or hezbollah or any arab country using british passports to assasinate israeli military leader.

  10. 14 Kenneth Ingle
    February 18, 2010 at 16:21

    Nothing new in this, I for one am not fascinated. Hitler, Benes, Stalin and many others during my lifetime, have in the past used their secret services to kill off unwanted persons. Does anybody really believe that the CIA or MI5 do not? The methods change over the years, the misuse of power does not. State terror is little different to that of the Taliban, who calls the kettle black?

  11. 15 audre
    February 18, 2010 at 16:22

    What would be the repercussions of another country’s using fake British passports to carry out such an act, if that is what actually happened. Just curious.

    • 16 Ibrahim in UK
      February 18, 2010 at 16:42

      It depends on the country – I would guess very little unless the UK was looking for an excuse to make a diplomatic issue.
      Israel has used foreign passports (including British) before, and the worst that happens is a public rebuke and warning “not to do it again”, and then business as usual.

  12. 17 uneza
    February 18, 2010 at 16:38

    im following up the story because, this war is spilling over to places other than the occupied terretories, thats scary because u never know where the Arabs would act in retaliation!

  13. 18 Cheshire Pete
    February 18, 2010 at 16:44

    The passport part of this story is a bit of a red herring. It is not very important.

    The real point is that it seems almost certain that Israel commited this murder. They have not denied it. Just said it cannot be proved. The Israeli press are even crowing about it.

    If they did, then as this man was not under any legal sentence of death, then his murder by Mossad, allegedly, was an act of terrorism. Just like it would be if Libya, or some other country, set off a bomb in the USA, or murdered a UK politician. There is no excuse. You cannot use the other sides excesses as a reason for terrorism outside of your own country, or that all Hamas are terrorists to be shot at will. It’s just another thing that is unfortiunately bringing the State of Israel into disrepute, and fuelling anti-zionism. Israel deserves international condemnation, if it was them.

    I really wish that it were not so.

  14. 19 Geoffrey Bastin
    February 18, 2010 at 16:47

    Perhaps it’s ok to hunt down and destroy a so called terrorist using a Drone and firing a missile into their car of house as opposed to using several “tourists” in tennis shorts.
    When it comes to clandestine operations anything goes. We seek to destroy our enemies by foul means or fair. That goes for middle east fanatics or oil seeking europeans and americans.
    Each war is about energy and influence. Afghanistan is all about energy or at least the transfer of it. An american company (Unicol) needs to build a pipeline across southern Afghanistan but until the local populace can be subduded it cannot happen. Much gas and oil exists in the states to the north and surrounding countries are in need of supplies. What the British hope to gain is debatable.
    The same could be said for this assasination as it seems likely the Britsh were somehow involved. Or perhaps our passports are just not so secure after all.
    Early reports mentioned that the team were all British Israelis whatever they are?
    I realise you can have duel nationality but I’ve never heard of anyone being so described unless of course we have developed a new team to deal with these situations. Life goes on and young people are sacrified in war on the wihim of politicians for the sake of a greater game.

  15. 20 Roberto
    February 18, 2010 at 17:13

    RE “” the killing of Hamas militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh has been most viewed “”

    ——- Most viewed because of the huge Islamist interest in creating a big story out of it with something like 1.5 billion Muslims on the planet.

    Most of the western world save the Brits could care less except for their politicians looking to score points for re-elections.

    Hmmmm, Moussed kills Hamas terrorist in luxury hotel suite, is this really a story?

    Had they let him live and ordered up champagne to go with a banquet, now, that would’ve been the story!

  16. 21 Jesus
    February 18, 2010 at 18:05

    What kind of a friend is Israel to to the UK – this is such a self serving and selfish act that has the potential to put innocent people in harms way.

  17. 22 JanB
    February 18, 2010 at 18:11

    “immagine the outrage if a palestinian group or hezbollah or any arab country using british passports to assasinate israeli military leader.”

    Actually, terrorists using false passports is fairly common, Iran also uses this trick, as do many Western Intelligence agencies (though they usually inform their allies, but not always). Backlash has been negligible over the years.

    Anyway, let’s not rule out the possibility that the man was killed by the Palestinian Authority or betrayed by other Hamas members (there were Palestinians arrested in relation to this incident).

    Anyone hoping for a war against Israel or anything of the kind, don’t get your hopes up. When Iranian operatives were captured in Iraq, aiding and supplying anti-coalition militias there was no strong response from the US and British and that was a much more serious offense than using a few fake passports to kill a common enemy of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the West.

    • 23 Irene in Texas
      February 19, 2010 at 18:34

      I’m not hoping for a war against Israel, just a cut off of funds and arms to Israel. It would implode. A parasite cannot live without a host.

  18. 24 Frank in the USA
    February 18, 2010 at 18:15

    This was a fascinating, real-life “Mission Impossible” story that ran like clockwork and was pulled off without a hitch. It also had a happy ending–a murderer was liquidated, thereby saving untold innocent lives in the future. I’m in awe of how this operation was brilliantly planned and conducted. Hats off to whomever it was.

  19. 25 steve
    February 18, 2010 at 18:15

    Interesting how the media is piling up on Israel, while very few are admitting that Palestinian intelligence was also alleged to be involved. Hate to be the first to break it to you, but Fatah and Hamas hate each other.

  20. February 18, 2010 at 18:19

    Not so much fascinated,not surprised either,it’s what secret services do.Although not so popular as it used to be it still happens.But once again we are back to saving lives,for the cost of one.And again,if you get involved in arms smuggling,watch out,watch out!

  21. 27 Gregorio
    February 18, 2010 at 18:48

    I applaud the Mossad for this hit, if it was indeed them. It demonstrates an agency that should be feared amongst those who would threaten and kill others and comes at about the right time to impress upon Ahmahdinejad the importance of being earnest.

    Actually, I applaud anyone responsible. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Now, if we could just get this team to track down and hit other high profile, low life terrorist types like OBL, his second in command and others, the world would be a far far better place. Too bad it has to happen at such a snails pace. I guess that’s why the experts say that we need to be prepared to be in this battle for the long haul. I say hunker down.

  22. 28 antonovich
    February 18, 2010 at 18:58

    I repeat. The Israeli’s are untouchable and absolutely nothing will happen as far as any consequences. We can do anything we like to protect our interests.

  23. 29 Cheshire Pete
    February 18, 2010 at 19:11

    Put it this way. If this man had been killed by Iranians acting for their government, then the Powers would condemn it as terrorism. If he was killed by Israel then it is justified, even praiseworthy? Come off it.

    The bulk of the pro Israeli contributors to this subject don’t seem to appreciate that Israel cannot commit murders abroad, without it being perceived as a just excuse for even more terrorism by the people it chooses to keep as enemies.

    Then again, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has gone a bit quiet of late, and maybe it may be peaceful enough for negotiations on settlements to be discussed. So maybe shooting a Hamas leader was just another prod to goad a dying horse.

    I cannot for the life of me see why the passports are so important. It’s like criticising bank robbers for breaking the speed limit in the get away car.

  24. 30 PC Hitman
    February 18, 2010 at 20:49

    We should celebrate a victory against terrorism despite the means. I hope whoever did this is not found.
    If a British passport has to be cloned then this is the best way. As for how it happened you nly have to look at who’s in power, still an election looming so not long left now.

  25. 31 Clamdip
    February 18, 2010 at 21:50

    Yes, it’s fascinating because its been happening for years and the general public just don’t want to accept that these sort of ‘cloak and dagger’ operations really occur. It explains how disconnected the average citizen is to their government. Now that the jig’s up governments don’t have to be apologetic anymore. The British public are all up in arms but its short lived because they unconsciously know that their own government is complicit and they accept the circumstances as they are. Britain and America will always defend Israel. That equation won’t change unless the economic , banking/power/corporate relationships change. It won’t happen. Israel will do anything to protect itself and in doing so they are ensuring your way of life. Like it or not it is the political/economic reality today.

  26. 32 Clamdip
    February 18, 2010 at 22:07

    Although it was a “Mission Impossible”, I don’t think it ran like clockwork because the world wouldn’t see the suspects pictures on surveillance cameras. Why would an agent use a public bathroom if he had regeistered in a different hotel?
    Security agencies know about surveillance cameras and yet it was accomplished out in the open. Also why would you disguise yourself while checking into a hotel room so that detection would be very difficult. I think a lot of this was bungled and careless but interesting nonetheless.

  27. 33 Tony Parkes
    February 19, 2010 at 00:51

    Hey people,

    What the issue here? Is the British government concerned that British passports were used or that the act of murder was committed?

    I am confused by all the noise and news steeming from this matter.

    The bottom line is this;

    A murder was committed in Dubai.

    Next steps;

    (1) The identified suspects need to be extradicted to Dubai and the law and their processes need to applied to prove any guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

    As part of the case, the means of entry (use of British passports) need to be verified and proved. if they are proven to have used fake passports, then the British government needs to establish if any UK or British citizens were involved or culpable. If any, then pursue and prosecute. if not, then no issues for the British government.

    The wider issues such as the alleged State sponsored summary executions; this is an issue for every country in the world including UK and Israel.

    Rule of law must be followed regardless of circumstances or else we all would become victims. Can you imagine a scenario where such as action is actively pursued by any State, Group or Organisations that feels they are right and have the right to do so due to their percieved circumstances?

    Let’s support the rule of law.

  28. 34 Andrew (World Citizen)
    February 19, 2010 at 02:10

    You know what is funny… By this logic the Israelis must be really sloppy and careless, they use faked passports of only Jewish dual passport holders of Israeli descent without actually using these people or there passports? Why not just use fake names with fake passports, why use real Israeli Jewish names? Why expose these people to camera’s and leave a trail of evidence when they just could have killed him anywhere else? Think people… Also why spend so much money taking on a operation in another country when they have plenty of more targets right nextdoor? Besides if they new about this person and new about his deal why not just intercept his cargo?

    Honestly, if this was Israel then they are getting soft. There army wasnt up to snuff in Lebanon, and if this was a Mossad operation then they are really in trouble.

  29. February 19, 2010 at 02:25

    Doesn’t fascinate me at all … You kill one today, and tommorrow a more radical deputy takes his place and plots retaliation in massive damage. It ‘s an endless viscious cycle enriching only the arms dealers across the divide. Are we, the passive spectators, supposed to applaud mindless blood letting and catastrophic damages? If so what exactly do we teach our kids?

  30. 36 Abram
    February 19, 2010 at 04:43

    It is interesting because the murderers were smart enough not to go into the hotel as suicide-bombers.

  31. 37 Subhash C Mehta
    February 19, 2010 at 14:17

    I would rather let the investigation take its course.

  32. 38 Ibrahim in UK
    February 19, 2010 at 14:48

    On the issue of why the passports are a big deal:

    It means that British IDs have been publicly misused for criminal activity. This puts all British passport holders under extra scrutiniy as potential forgeries or Mossad agents.
    The fact that Israel has been caught with British passports before, and that Britain provided weapons and political UN protection to Israel in the wars against Lebanon and Gaza, countries might conclude that Britain assisted Israel in this operation too. This means that Britain would have knowingly deceived a friendly ally (Dubai) to conspire in murder.
    The publicity is bad for British international relations.

  33. 39 steve
    February 19, 2010 at 15:16

    Gotta Agree with Abram. Had they strapped on suicide belts, liberals would be asking us to understand why they did it.

    • 40 Irene in Texas
      February 19, 2010 at 18:40

      What I really can’t understand is an Israeli border guard who detains a pregnant woman until she loses the baby or an IDF soldier who bulldozes a house with people in it. Or a country that claims to be a democracy that shouts “anti-Semitism” any time anyone disputes their propaganda. Democracy implies freedom of press does it not?

  34. 41 JanB
    February 19, 2010 at 16:49

    “Put it this way. If this man had been killed by Iranians acting for their government, then the Powers would condemn it as terrorism. If he was killed by Israel then it is justified, even praiseworthy? Come off it.

    Cheshire Pete”

    A better analogy would be Iran killing members of Jundullah, the PMOI or one of several Kurdish groups opposed to the Islamic Republic. This happens regularly but seldom makes the headlines. Furthermore I am unfamiliar with any world leader praising the Dubai assassination.

  35. 42 JanB
    February 19, 2010 at 16:57

    “You know what is funny… By this logic the Israelis must be really sloppy and careless


    Yep, that and the fact that there were apparently Palestinians involved opens up the possibility that the assassination was ordered by Fatah, or even rival members of Hamas. Israel is innocent until proven guilty, it’s funny how people who are calling the assassination “unlawful” tend to forget about the “innocent until proven guilty” part of the law. Anyway, I wouldn’t trust the UAE “justice” system, they acquitted a Sheikh who was clearly visible on a videotape torturing another man and when women are raped they get arrested themselves in this corrupt sharia state.

  36. 43 viola
    February 19, 2010 at 17:28

    It’s fascinating because it illustrates the nature of the war going on between Israel and its enemies. Specific strikes against specific individuals vs. scatter-shot suicide missions. One terrorizes individuals engaged in clandestine activities, the other seeks to terrorize not just single countries, but the entire world.

    Whether you approve of either tactic depends on which side you’re rooting for and how well you can justify such actions.


    • 44 Irene in Texas
      February 19, 2010 at 19:03

      Whether you approve of either tactic depends on whether you actually follow the Israel vs. Palestine issue, consider the sources of your information and read between the lines to get at the real story. And of course it depends whether you are one of “Gods chosen people” or a fundamentalist Christian praying for the rapture or you are a normal, thinking human being. Israel, as anyone who actually pays attention knows, has been terrorizing an entire captive population of refugees for the past 50 years.

      • 45 Richard
        February 20, 2010 at 21:30

        At one point I shared your opinion. Since then I have visited Israel and learned the true history of this conflict. The plight of the Palestinian people is quite sad. The saddest part is that is has been imposed on them by their own leadership. The Palestinians who agreed to live as citizens in the State of Israel in 1948 are now the freest, most affluent Arabs in the Middle East and are 20% of the Israeli population.. Ehud Barack offered full freedom and autonomy to the Palestinians in 2001 and in response, Yasir Arafat launched the second Intifada. No Arab country will open their borders to their “brothers” whom they use for their own political gain. Lean on Israel if you must, but spread around the blame for the Palestinian plight where it belongs.

      • 46 viola
        February 21, 2010 at 03:32

        @Irene: I’ve been paying attention for the last 50 years and I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but it’s a lot more complicated than Israel bad, Palestinians good. Good for you if you’re one of the ones who actually follow the issue. Facts and history are good, too. As for reading between the lines for the real story, that sounds more like fantasizing to me.

  37. 47 Clamdip
    February 19, 2010 at 20:41

    Fake passports are hard to get into the system. That’s why they use real ones because the information is already there. It was easier for them to use real passports and change the pictures.

  38. 48 Clamdip
    February 19, 2010 at 20:47

    Also, there is probably a lot of complicity between England and Israel. Something,
    God Forbid, the British public should not be aware of.

  39. 49 Dirt
    February 19, 2010 at 22:50

    Irene, will you marry me?

  40. 50 Angry Female Gamer
    February 20, 2010 at 01:49

    They’re getting it bit out of hand now, aren’t they? Stop funding them America!

  41. February 20, 2010 at 12:26

    This is the pornography of violence. Its self-defeating and counter-productive.

  42. 52 Andrew (World Citizen)
    February 20, 2010 at 16:22

    to ‘Irene in Texas’

    Jews claim Anti Semitism because everyone around them is trying to kill them… Its like the saying “Of course i am paranoid, people are trying to kill me”. I doubt you could find any newspaper of any neighboring country who runs nice articles about the blood drinking jews living next door who make matzah out of little Palestinians. Did you ever think the Jews have a point? Why dont you try doing some research into so called “news” that is published in the Arab world and tell me what you find.

    • 53 Irene in Texas
      February 22, 2010 at 21:27

      I hear the Israel and its proponents point night and day. There is no escape, in mainstream media in children’s books, anywhere. If you could look up the CEOs of every major news source and publisher in the U.S., you would see what I mean. Anyone who tries to state any other view (such as Cynthia McKinney, Norm Finkelstein) has their career ruined. (Noam Chomsky and Edward Said were let off the hook because no one can understand them anyway.) This is in the United States of America, a place where freedom of speech is supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution. Perhaps it is time Israel and it’s proponents tried to see things from someone else’s point of view? Once they suck the last tax dollar out of the sagging U.S. economy, who is going to support them?

  43. 54 Dorit
    February 20, 2010 at 21:16

    I found it amazingly hypocritical that the media coverage and diplomatic reactions to the assassination of this self-proclaimed terrorist exceeded any that was dedicated to report the horrible actions or the suffering of the victims of his terrorist acts. This man, along with other members of his Hamas organization, dedicate their lives to cause as much pain, suffering, terror and death and they possible can, including on their own people. They reject any potential peaceful agreement offered, or any compromise in the difficult Israel-Palestinian conflict. They are nothing but mass murderers completing acts of crime against humanity, with the world watching passively on the sideline, and giving them cheers. To call these people freedom-fighters is to insult real peaceful freedom-fighters such as the Tibetan Dalai-Lama, who would never consider to plant a suicide bomb in a shopping mall full of civilians, and, who unfortunately, gets very little coverage for his cause.

  44. 55 mike from canada
    February 20, 2010 at 22:06

    Jeremy Bowen and indeed the British Press are almost alone in making it an Arab-Jewish conflict. Not Arab-Israeli conflict. Zionists etc. If you look at this as a state trying to pre-empt terrorist hell bent on an attack being denied missles…maybe you could relate.

  45. 56 Ronald Almeida
    February 21, 2010 at 07:43

    The same reason that makes Hollywood films popular : Sensationalism!

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