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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Israeli whose identity was stolen: 'I woke up a murderer'

Seven Israelis woke up on Wednesday morning to discover that their identities had been stolen and used to issue passports from their countries of birth for whomever liquidated Hamas terrorist and arms dealer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

Of the 11 people named by Dubai police as being members of the alleged assassination team, six have the same names as British-Israeli citizens living in Israel, and one is a German-Israeli woman, Channel 10 said.

Analysts have argued that intelligence agents traveling with false documents are more likely to get past border controls if they use the names of “real” people.

At least three additional names on the hit squad list – Jonathan Graham, James Clarke and Michael Bodenheimer – bear similarities to the names of Israeli citizens, though Graham and Clarke have told Ynet that they have different middle names.

Bodenheimer’s daughter said her father is an Orthodox man living in Bnei Brak, and that he had immigrated to Israel from the US 30 years ago.

The London Times reported on Tuesday that British authorities had launched an investigation to determine “how six British nationals apparently had their identities stolen by suspected Mossad agents to cover their tracks on a mission to assassinate a top Hamas leader in Dubai.”

The newspaper said that Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office “confirmed that the identities in the British passports used by six members of the 11-strong hit squad were those of real British passport holders,” adding that the passports used by the hit squad were forged.

One possibility being investigated is that “British passport details were copied from the originals by immigration staff while the holders were traveling,” according to the Times.
Three of the passports used were Irish - the Irish government has confirmed that they were forged. There was also one French passport used.

ABC News says that all signs point to Israel.
"It has all the earmarks of an Israeli assassination," said former CIA intelligence officer Robert Baer. "There are very few intelligence agencies that have the ability to pull off something like this."

Intelligence officials say the Israeli intelligence unit, Mossad, has returned to its "old school" methods in tracking down people it suspects could be threats to Israel.

"Mabhouh was probably in Dubai to meet with the Iranians, because that's where you go to do business or arrange arms shipments with them," said Baer.


"It was quiet, low profile, unlike a James Bond operation," said Roni Shaked, an Israeli journalist and former field agent with the Israeli version of the FBI. "I am convinced it is the work of the Israelis," he said.


Dubai officials privately have suggested Mossad may be involved, but have also floated alternate theories.

"It could have been Mossad, it could be a subcontract of Mossad, it could be an Arab government trying to do a favor for another government, or it could be a deal gone bad. Mossad would strike anywhere," said Dr. Theodore Karasik, a security expert with Dubai-based think tank INEGMA.
ABC has a list of what it calls Israel's Greatest Hits here.

The Mossad has been caught using other countries' passports before and it has caused a couple of diplomatic incidents. But this time, it seems to have been carried out perfectly. Unless one or more of these people are caught, it's unlikely that anyone will ever be able to prove that the Mossad was behind the operation.

Still, if your identity has been stolen and there's an Interpol warrant out for your arrest for a murder you did not commit, you're probably not too happy about it. Melvyn Adam Mildiner, a British born immigrant to Israel who has pneumonia, may have summed up the way all of the Israelis whose identities were apparently used must be feeling.
“I have no idea how to clear my name. Interpol has a warrant out for my arrest. I don’t know how I will travel. I went to bed with pneumonia and woke up a ‘murderer,’” Mildiner told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

What began as a trickle of e-mails and calls quickly turned into a flood of incessant phone calls from the media on Tuesday, Mildiner added. Mildiner, 31, who lives with his wife in a town near Jerusalem, said the entire episode “came out of the blue.”

“First, clearly it isn’t me. It doesn’t look like me. The details are not correct [in the UK passport publicized by Dubai Police as allegedly being used by the hit squad member]. The date of birth is wrong. I’ve never been to Dubai. Someone, somewhere decided to use my identity for something,” Mildiner said. “I am seeking legal advice and looking into how I could clear my name. I don’t know to proceed. I’ve had offers to be on every television show, including some I’ve never heard of. I’m waiting to hear from my lawyer.”

“We don’t know for sure who did this, despite what everyone’s saying. I’m angry with whoever has done it. My identity should be a bit more sacrosanct than that,” he said.

For now, Mildiner said, he was focusing on getting rest, and would be giving media interviews a break. He asked that his photograph not be published.
By the way, his home town has been published all over the place - you won't have to look too hard to find it.

By the way, does anyone think that the woman in the photo at the top is not wearing a wig? Of course she is.....

Don't cross the Mossad. Heh.


The French passport was fake too.


At 8:31 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

All their identities are fake. Good luck in tracking them down. None of them exist. It never happened.


At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any certainty that the woman in the wig is a woman?

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I think the one in the top left is Michael from the British version of the office. Ricky Gervais is his real name I believe. As an actor he is used to assuming false identities. I am a bit surprised to learn of his lethality.

At 7:18 AM, Blogger Abe Bird said...

I wonder whether the identities have been stolen by an Arab clerk in the Israeli interior ministry (many of them in the Galilee area are Arabs) or by some Hamas cooperative clerk in Britain itself. In both cases it is very dangerous occasion.


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