The Mahmoud al-Mabhouh Assassination

Remember the Mahmoud al-Mabhouh assassination last January? The police identified 30 suspects, but haven't been able to find any of them.

Police spent about 10,000 hours poring over footage from some 1,500 security cameras around Dubai. Using face-recognition software, electronic-payment records, receipts and interviews with taxi drivers and hotel staff, they put together a list of suspects and publicized it.

Seems ubiquitous electronic surveillance is no match for a sufficiently advanced adversary.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 6:12 AM • 53 Comments

Comments

WillOctober 12, 2010 7:01 AM

the general optimism at the time was that the agents had done it all wrong. There were 'ex-agents' and other people claiming authority criticizing them for not being savy to the risks of cctv and other bad fieldcraft.

much of the comments on this blog earlier were more circumspect: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/02/...

GMOctober 12, 2010 7:38 AM

Yea, so much was made about how this was a botched operation because they behaved as if they were unaware of how every movement they made was being tracked and recorded. Seems to me that it was 100% successful in that they eliminated their target despite the pervasive surveillance and every single one of them got away.

nickOctober 12, 2010 8:25 AM

Those guys in Israel are in a battle for survival. That means the ends justify the means in their perspective. If you provide weapons to Israel's enemies, they're going to try to kill you any way they can.

TordrOctober 12, 2010 8:26 AM

In some ways this murder is similar to 2 other murders which have made headlines in Norway. Both cases involved a Norwegian girl, killed in England/Hungary and the killer fled to Yemen/China.
The killer from Yemen is protected by his rich dad, the guy from China does not have such influential parents and has been apprehended by the Chinese police, but my guess is that he will probably never be sent to Hungary.

In all these cases the killers have gotten away and can live the rest of their life in their home country, but photographs are distributed on the net and should they leave their home country 10-20 years from now, someone might identify them and apprehend them. Depending on which country they are apprehended in they might ultimately be sent to the country where the crime was commited. This makes travelling abroad risky for all of them.

kingsnakeOctober 12, 2010 8:26 AM

It's not botched if the mission is accomplished. Costly, perhaps, if some operatives are lost, but not botched.

For botched, see this week's attempted hostage rescue ...

n3td3v SecurityOctober 12, 2010 9:26 AM

Dubai's police chief said he has received death threats from Israel's spy agency Mossad.

The first threat came days after Khalfan released pictures of the suspected killers and at the same time accused Mossad of involvement in the murder.

"Protect your back if you were capable of leaving your tongue loose," a message said.

The second threat, was a telephone call to one of Khalfan's relatives, a retired top Emirati official, from a "Westerner with a dual passport" whom, he said, had asked "my relative to advise me to remain silent."

Source: (AFP)

Andrew

MattOctober 12, 2010 9:37 AM

In all the assasination was a good example of how persistant/pervalent observation doesn't prevent crimes. It is also a good example that even though they can be used to build a case and provide evidence after the fact, that unless you know the people recorded, who they really are and where they are from, you still don't have anything.

ClownFaceOctober 12, 2010 9:52 AM

I loved the disdain used to refer to the hit group afterward. "What idiots, they must have known there were cameras!" Yeah, obviously they did know. For all we know they were all wearing disguises from the moment they left their coutries of origin, with additional disguises that changed during the operation to avoid early detection. Once home again, or at least a couple country hops away the base disguises are burned and the aledgedly compromised agents go back to their cover lives.

karrdeOctober 12, 2010 10:12 AM

Aside: it is possible, with a large amount of video to select from, to use judicious editing to attempt to incriminate anyone in the videos.

However, I don't know if that is even something to consider in this case.

How much of the raw video is available to the public?

How much of the edited video has timestamps?

Are the timestamps verifiable?

On a broader front, I agree fully with Bruce's comments. Video surveillance has its uses, but the threat of video surveillance scales with the ability to find the perpetrator.

xOctober 12, 2010 11:04 AM

video is ubiquitous, but it never prevents anything, it just watches it, and most often no person is looking at the tv. If all the people connected to this operation are truely part of it, why did they need so many of them? it was not an infantry assault, its hard to even guess the roles many of these actors were needed for. Video is like cops, useful after the action if you have any pointed in the right direction. A bodyguard is more proactive.
Israel does a lot of one offs, things it won't try again, think of attacking the USS liberty or stealing all that plutonium from NUMEC. They presumably know that someday someones gonna slap them down if they repeat this but they do go for the fiat acompli, then watch the reaction to it, in this case, they really had a lot of bureaucratic trainees there for the resume' bump.
One of them was captured in Germany, but a judge got bought and the usual happened.

whatitisOctober 12, 2010 11:18 AM

they got what they went there for, and more, they learned a lesson about the investigative digital environment in the third millenium. they learned the capabilities of the Dubai Police
but on the down side, they also lost a propaganda battle as they did when they sent assasins to Norway and killed an innnocent or when they had two of their assasins caught in Jordan, (that got fixed as quickly as some of their other pinches, its amazing how much pressure these people can bring on people whom you would not guess would be susceptible. they own our government.

MikeOctober 12, 2010 11:21 AM

A bit off topic (vaguely related as video surveillance certainly has privacy issues), but I wanted to comment on the article from the above Register link.

An excerpt from the article quoting Mr. Schneier,
Regarding facbook and it's sharing of private data... "not because it's evil but because its market is selling user data to its commercial partners."

Could getting personal data from users, most of whom do not realize the significance and risk of the data, and then selling it for a profit be an 'evil' act? It is consciously and purposely taking advantage of people. I would describe this as morally and ethically wrong. While I dislike the use of the work 'evil' because it is emotionally overloaded, this behaviour also matches the only definition that I can think of for 'evil', i.e. morally and ethically wrong.

jgrecoOctober 12, 2010 11:26 AM

@ClownFace at October 12, 2010 9:52 AM

If I recall correctly, somebody here pointed out how a disproportionately large number of them were wearing square-rimmed glasses. It was speculated that perhaps they were designed to trip up facial recognition software. I'm not so sure I buy that without seeing some evidence of it working first, but it does indicate to me that some sort of disguises were probably in use.

ShaneOctober 12, 2010 11:47 AM

You think maybe all the armchair spies will finally put a sock in all the "botched op/could've done it better myself" rhetoric?

RHOctober 12, 2010 12:02 PM

I think we're missing the point where Tom Cruise ducks out of the camera's FOV and tears off the latex face over his own.

Brad WheelerOctober 12, 2010 12:17 PM

This is pretty interesting, considering the general consensus when it happened that that this was the swan song of Cold War-style espionage. Apparently not.

non-userOctober 12, 2010 12:31 PM

@Mike

In that article, Bruce says: "Data brokers are being re-purposed for government to do data mining that governments themselves wouldn't be allowed to do."

This is a very important thing to know. Since the gov't is now getting personal data from private sources, they have *no* obligation to reveal that data through FOIA requests!

breakalegOctober 12, 2010 1:24 PM

One fellow was arrested in Poland for arranging the German passport(s) and extradited to Germany. He was charged in Germany and then allowed to go free pending trial, including back to Israel. Believe he was part of the twenty.

breakalegOctober 12, 2010 1:28 PM

Are you sure you're not confusing capture with identification? After all, if you're lying low in a safe house somewhere, you're not going to be arrested. That doesn't mean that Dubai hasn't done its job.

Given the above treatment, the question would also arise how seriously states are looking for these people.

JOctober 12, 2010 1:43 PM

@breakaleg:

They haven't identified anyone, either. All they've found so far is the house of one of the planners in the UK, along with an obviously fake cover name and another name that turned out to also be fake. Not a word about the others.

RogerOctober 12, 2010 3:06 PM

It is not so surprising to me that "no-one" has been caught. Within hours of starting the investigation, Dubai's Police Chief Tamin has been obsessed with pinning the case on Israel rather than simply investigating the facts. To the extent that, in fact, three suspects WERE caught, but have not been charged because they turned out not to be Israelis. (Instead, two were members of a rival Palestinian faction that has a deadly hatred of al-Mabhouh's faction. The third was a senior intelligence agent from al-Mabhouh's own faction; instead of being interrogated, he was handed over to the Palestinian authorities, and has vanished.)

For example, on examining the course of events it is clear that whoever arranged this hit knew about the problems with al-Mabhouh's travel plans many hours -- probably more than a day -- before he knew himself. Now we know that Hamas has world-class electronic security (in the most recent Lebanese war, they soundly defeated Israel in the ELINT battle) so this clearly points -- yet again! -- to a person within al-Mabhouh's own security team. Yet this line doesn't seem to have been pursued at all.

It doesn't even make sense from the point of view of motive. Al-Mabhouh was a monster, a hated man with many enemies. Trying to investigate a case like this by pursuing motives is bound to lead you in circles.

But there is evidence that is a lot more convincing than motive: money. Some diligent invetigator managed to find a money trail that led to a Mr. Christopher Lockwood, holder of a "real" (officially issued) UK passport. Once again, as with many of the false identities, "Mr. Lockwood" superficially appeared tied to Israel -- but only in a way that would be relatively easy to fake. And the "Mr. Lockwood" trail seemed to peter out when it emerged that this ID was also a constructed identity.

But the "Mr. Lockwood" *money* trail hasn't petered out; "Mr. Lockwood" conducted substantial financial transactions which haven't yet been fully traced. Perhaps because they lead not to Israel, but to Iran.

@breakaleg:
The guy arrested by Germany was held for months on a minor charge, and eventually bailed because Dubai was unable to provide Germany with any evidence to support their allegations. It's relatively likely that that guy was a minor Israeli agent, but if there is any evidence that he was involved in the al-Mabhouh assassination then for some reason Dubai has chosen not only not to publicise it, but not even to provide it to German prosecutors.

gopiOctober 12, 2010 4:32 PM

How much of the evidence that Dubai collected would hold up in an international-standard criminal trial?

Seeing people walking around together doesn't prove a whole lot. It seems like most of the evidence would be good probable-cause grounds for a deep search for proper evidence.

If the proper evidence was properly disposed of, that may not be good enough. If I've got you on camera going up to the clock tower, and I'm sure that's where the sniper was, I probably still need a bit more. If you destroy the gun and leave no fingerprints, what have I got?

bob!!October 12, 2010 7:19 PM

@Tordr
"This makes travelling abroad risky for all of them."

For the guys from Yemen and China, who, by your account, have been identified, travelling abroad is *very* risky, unless they can manage to acquire travel documents under a different identity.

For the people involved in the assassination, things aren't nearly so risky. They just need to avoid places where existing law would allow them to be held until the local authorities can get biometric data from Dubai (if I recall correctly, Dubai has retinal scans).

I don't know enough about the laws outside the US to comment on them, but in the US, "We're holding you because you look like one of the people involved in the Dubai hit" isn't going to work. This isn't even taking into account the fact that their disguises in the available footage may be good enough that their real face doesn't actually look much like "one of the people involved in the Dubai hit."

Bruce ClementOctober 12, 2010 7:29 PM

@nick "Those guys in Israel are in a battle for survival. That means the ends justify the means in their perspective. If you provide weapons to Israel's enemies, they're going to try to kill you any way they can."

Equally, those guys in Palestine are in a battle for survival. That means the ends justify the means in their perspective. If you provide weapons to Palestine's enemies, they're going to try to kill you any way they can.

The moral of the story is that the west should stop financing and arming both Israel and the Palestinians; only then will we have a hope of security.

Not that any of this is relevant to the efficiency of the Dubai police operation.

Clive RobinsonOctober 13, 2010 12:34 AM

@ Tordr, Bob!!,

With regards the guy in China, remember they have probably the highest rate of execution of anywhere in the world, and due legal process has little to do with it. If you care to have a look around they had untill relativly recently I nice little trade in selling organs that had been harvested from criminals.

One of the worst crimes as far as the Chinese Authorities are concerned is bringing China into disrepute. So unless he is sufficiently connected the chances are his family will be invoiced for the bullet.

As for the Yemen and criminals yes it is not the first time nor will it be the last they have "skipped home" to avoid prosecution.

But this sort of "sex crime" and well connected people from Arab countries appears to be an issue going through the British Courts at the moment with a supposed homosexual relationship between an arab "Prince" and a servant going wrong and the servant getting physicaly beaten (video of one event from a lift security camera) and finally murdered.

Sadly power still corrupts and the more power the worse the corruption that can be got away with. Right and proper Justice for all is usually considered as a mark of a civilised country, and thus one can conclude the opposite is also true.

Stick to the factsOctober 13, 2010 1:44 AM

Wel, remember that the video did not capture the actual murder. It captured all kinds people, those are the facts. Someone mentioned; where are the DNA traces, or any other if there where any found.

In all, this candid camera footage seems worthless in this case, without concrete evidence. Stick to the facts of this so called murder.

breakalegOctober 13, 2010 3:30 AM

@ J, Roger

I'm amazed. Are we on the same planet? The man was arrested in Poland on an Interpol warrant and after fighting extradition to Germany (and that implies a German arrest warrant transmitted to Interpol) he was charged concerning falsifying German passport(s) used in the operation. He was bailed with permission to leave Germany. We'll see if he ever shows up for his trial. I don't remember the exact charge, but I suppose that could be found in the German media.

RonKOctober 13, 2010 4:39 AM

It seems that Israel is becoming similar to Einstein's Midas-like Nobel prize, except that instead of what is touched becoming a circus, any public forum which touches upon _it_ becomes an _insane asylum_.

Sam (Irish-world bullshit)October 13, 2010 7:17 AM

Notice how the countries like Ireland and UK made the copy of their pass ports the main dish of the story. The main act was the passport forgery..NOW Russia has done the same thing and NOT a peep from the media.. Mother Russia has a BIG fist if those sorry Irish media opens their traps.. Story goes, that Russia also forget Irish passports..not..chirp chirp..nothing silence in the major media.. read the rest here

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/...

Whats does this say..mess with mother Russia and you will be squashed like a little Irish bug you are...

Richard Steven HackOctober 13, 2010 8:05 AM

"Now we know that Hamas has world-class electronic security (in the most recent Lebanese war, they soundly defeated Israel in the ELINT battle)"

It would help your case to be able to distinguish between Hamas and Hizballah. Hamas does not have "world class" anything in Lebanon; Hizballah does.

Richard Steven HackOctober 13, 2010 8:07 AM

Of course they can't find them - in Dubai. They probably left Dubai within an hour or at most half a day of the hit.

Your escape route is the most important aspect of any operation and is always planned first.

Once out of Dubai, the odds of tracking them become ridiculous. Especially if they went straight back to Israel.

All the cops did was waste 10,000 hours poring over video.

doitOctober 13, 2010 10:53 AM

besides the video that was published, there were cell phone connections to a pbx in austria and credit card links between the various parts. It was almost as amatuer as those 20 cia bureaucrats kidnapping some arab in italy, which means that those agents will not be traveling in europe under the same pasports any more, and will try to avoid italy altogether. theres a movie out with decaprio playing a spy working with a bureaucrat played by russel crow, and the amount of cell phone talking is really excessive, the dubai hit and the italy kidnapping show that real spies are pretty dumb about using cell phones, even the fugitives in caves in waziristan don't use cell phones anymore.

jgrecoOctober 13, 2010 1:18 PM

@doit at October 13, 2010 10:53 AM

This sounds a lot like that "coldspy" nonsense. They pulled off the job and so far, months later, appear to have gotten away with it. Sure the authorities may know about their PBX now, but has that really cost them anything?

Really bizarre definitions of incompetent, possibly enhanced by watching to many spy movies..

mcbOctober 13, 2010 10:32 PM

Back in the day we recorded several minutes of very crisp color video of a professional burglary crew helping themselves to only the coolest contents of the IT building. They paid no mind to the several cameras they passed which captured full face and profile shots. Problem was no one - not peers, not local cops, not the interagency task force, not even the feds - had any clue who they might be. While the theft was frustrating, I'm glad they fled as my team arrived otherwise it might have become an unsolved homicide too. Now I'm not saying they were Mossad, or Hezbollah, or even Scientologists, but it makes a guy wonder...

RogerOctober 14, 2010 8:35 AM

@breakaleg:
"Are we on the same planet?"

I've no idea. I'm on earth.

"I don't remember the exact charge, but I suppose that could be found in the German media."

Yes, it can be found easily. Various references to forgery are quite wrong. The actual charge was that he (Brodsky) falsely vouched for another person who was making an application for a genuine German passport under false pretences. The maximum penalty for this is a small fine -- a fine that is actually less than his bail, and probably less than the cost of returning to face the charge. So no, there would be no logical reason for Brodsky to return to face the charge.

More to the point, the German prosecutor's office has made a public statement that only this minor charge would be preferred because (after months of waiting, with the suspect in remand) Dubai had failed to supply evidence it had promised to support a more serious charge. They did not say what evidence Dubai had failed to provide, but under the circumstances the only logical possibility is proof that the other person's fraudulent passport application was related to the al-Mabhouh assassination.

@Richard Steven Hack:
You're technically right but rather missing the point, Richard. Despite their apparent religious differences, Hamas and Hizbollah have co-operated closely for years, and are both funded by Iran, receive equipment (including ELINT equipment) from Iran, and even have Iranian intelligence agents to operate it. This is not speculative; President Ahmadinejad has publicly stated it.

thecoldspyOctober 14, 2010 8:45 PM

(This whole episode seems like it would make a really good movie.)

I think a number of movies have covered this type of subject, so it has already been done to death in my opinion.

(Seems to me that it was 100% successful in that they eliminated their target despite the pervasive surveillance and every single one of them got away.)

Depends on your definition of got away. What I find interesting is that people think that because a year has passed on a crime that the perpetrators have gotten clean away. They haven't really, as there is no statute of limitations on murder cases. Governments can get a break in the case 7 years from now and sweep everyone up. You might have forgotten it by then, but governments usually never do. They hunt and or seek while you sleep thinking everyone got clean away. They didn't, and as most criminal cases such as this one take years to solve and or work, I would say a year is just the start of the investigation. Someone will pay, if not now, later.

(Those guys in Israel are in a battle for survival.)

And how long will they have that as an excuse to go out to other countries and commit state sanctioned murder? Maybe if it hits your doorstep you will change your tune on their survival, and also their proclivity to make mistakes in target acquisitions.

(It's not botched if the mission is accomplished. Costly, perhaps, if some operatives are lost, but not botched.)

Very good points.

("Protect your back if you were capable of leaving your tongue loose," a message said.)

An infamous Russian once said:

--
You can liquidate a person or you can frighten him. Either way, if he shuts up you've reached your goal.
--

I tend to believe him.

(In all the assasination was a good example of how persistant/pervalent observation doesn't prevent crimes.)

Surveillance has never been a preventative. It has however always been sold as a deterrent while viewed as an after effect. As in at least people were seen and possibly can be identified later if enough resources are thrown at it.

(For all we know they were all wearing disguises from the moment they left their coutries of origin)

Rummy used to say There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns; there are things we do not know we don’t know.

Most though this statement was utter nonsense, and showed Rummy to be a lunatic. However, time has changed my view on that statement, and I now think he was very prescient on many things in this view.

(Aside: it is possible, with a large amount of video to select from, to use judicious editing to attempt to incriminate anyone in the videos.)


This is very true. Matter of fact you can probably take any video footage and turn those on it into murderers if done correctly and with the right type of narrative accompanying it.

(Video surveillance has its uses, but the threat of video surveillance scales with the ability to find the perpetrator.)

Always depends on who you are and how hard people wish to find you. I remember swirly face, he was that pedo they were looking for long ago. Interpol unmasked his face, and an international manhunt ensued which resulted in his eventual arrest some weeks later. It is always in how much someone else wants you, and the effort they put forth to find you. If these people on the videos were accused of killing a few children, well, I think the outcome would have been much different. As it is, many in Israel saw them as heroes, and those who knew them were either afraid to open their mouths about what they knew or thought them heroic and kept quiet. But, that is only for now, later the picture could change, so one never knows the future.

(You think maybe all the armchair spies will finally put a sock in all the "botched op/could've done it better myself" rhetoric?)

What is wrong with debate?

(For the people involved in the assassination, things aren't nearly so risky. They just need to avoid places where existing law would allow them to be held until the local authorities can get biometric data from Dubai)


In effect they are what is referred to as country locked. Not fun I can tell you.

(but in the US, "We're holding you because you look like one of the people involved in the Dubai hit" isn't going to work.)

Works all the time in the USA.

(This sounds a lot like that "coldspy" nonsense. They pulled off the job and so far, months later, appear to have gotten away with it. Sure the authorities may know about their PBX now, but has that really cost them anything?)


Yeah, nonsense. jGreco you seem to have a complex about other opinions in the field. Maybe you need to get out in the field on occasion to see the so called "other" side. I always think a good debate brings about a consensus. Matter of fact, it is often best to study what others say in order to refine ones methodology. I for one love to read every comment made, including yours.

Jake October 15, 2010 5:32 AM

Some unfortunate propagandistic comments have crept into this discussion and cannot be left unchallenged.

Regarding the Liberty, that old anti-Israel conspiracy theory isn't fitting for this serious discussion. LBJ was spying on Israel for the benefit of Egypt's Nasser during a fierce war, LBJ denied knowledge of the ship, recalled aircover TWICE to the amazement of Admiral Geis, and then threatened the sailors to never speak of their spy mission against an ally, Israel. You can't blame Israel in that case.

Regarding "state sanctioned murder", cutting down those 19 hijackers on 9/11 (or before) would have been morally justified. Same for Mr. bin Laden. Same for Mr. Hitler. No one would miss them. No one misses Saddam - nor even his 2 sons. Palestinian terrorists are delighted and overjoyed to be able to die if they can also kill infidels - and not just Jews or Israelis. Even if it's pre-emptive, taking them out is plainly self-defence - whether it's Israel, the USA, Russia, UK or whoever who does it.

thecoldspyOctober 15, 2010 10:06 AM

(Even if it's pre-emptive, taking them out is plainly self-defence - whether it's Israel, the USA, Russia, UK or whoever who does it.)

And where does it end? You cant justify murder, no matter what it accomplishes or what ends justify it in your mind. Do you remove everyone that has a proclivity to cause harm to someone else? If so, you are looking for a paradise that doesn't exist here on this planet. You can't stop Dr. Death from claiming his due. And no matter how hard you try to stop it, death still comes to us all. Sometimes in ways we don't wish for.

In the matter of 9/11, I would say it turned out to be a boon for industry. Many new companies were born, many new ideas were tried, and many people made huge amounts of money on it, and still do to this day. For them, 9/11 was a blessing. Out of chaos comes order.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krcNIWPkNzA


OudemosOctober 15, 2010 11:05 AM

@Jake,

It is highly unlikely that LBJ was spying on Israel for the benefit of Nasser - at that time a Soviet ally.

Israel machine-gunning lifeboats? That's war criminal (Geneva Convention II). The LIBERTY was also in international waters.

"Regarding "state sanctioned murder", cutting down those 19 hijackers on 9/11 (or before) would have been morally justified." In a democratic society, killing (except in war) is not lawful unless done in self-defense or as a sentence of execution handed by a lawfully constituted court after a free and fair trial. What you mean is that you approve of the murders, which is rather different.

jgrecoOctober 15, 2010 12:25 PM

@Jake

"Some unfortunate propagandistic comments have crept into this discussion and cannot be left unchallenged."

s/unchallenged/ignored/

I disagree, the best course of action is to ignore them. Either way they are not going to go away, but in attempting to refute them you drop the signal/noise ratio even more.

@thecoldspy

"You cant justify murder, no matter what it accomplishes or what ends justify it in your mind."

It seems to me as though he just has. "Justification" is an inherently non-objective topic. You and he disagree, and neither is correct nor incorrect.

thecoldspyOctober 15, 2010 8:11 PM

(It seems to me as though he just has. "Justification" is an inherently non-objective topic. You and he disagree, and neither is correct nor incorrect.)

You are right, murder is such a non-objective topic, and those that sanction it are neither correct nor incorrect.

(I disagree, the best course of action is to ignore them. Either way they are not going to go away, but in attempting to refute them you drop the signal/noise ratio even more.)

Yes, ignore all debate, nothing to see here, move along. You speak as if this blog should just turn comments off and allow the reader to just comment in his own mind rather than posting those thoughts here. I for one think healthy debate and commenting is what makes this a very interesting blog. I don't choose to ignore, because to ignore breeds ignorance.

PeterOctober 19, 2010 9:39 AM

According to this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/...

your information is incorrect. One suspect has been arrested in Canada, but the information has not been passed on to Dubai.

Canada and Dubai are in the middle of a trade dispute, which may be affecting this. A few days ago Canada was order to abandon its military base in Dubai, and Canada's foreign affairs minister was refused permission to land in Dubai; the dispute is over increased landing slot for Dubai airlines in Canada.

Profits are more important than security.

Davi OttenheimerOctober 19, 2010 4:29 PM

I would say the majority of cases are not solved, despite technology advances in surveillance, for several reasons.

1) management of the tech still requires human intelligence. it's a tool not a solution.
2) orgs often reduce spend on human resources or think the tools will replace intelligence. see #1
3) surveillance tech fails in strange ways and often is non-redundant. resolution issues due to image noise, network congestion, temp, power, etc.

Moreover, it brings to mind that homicides are solved only about 50% of the time. We are seeing a decline of overall homicide rates, yet an increase in surveillance technology has been accompanied by an increase in unsolved incidents.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/may/23/...

"Despite dramatic improvements in DNA analysis and forensic science, police fail to make an arrest in more than one-third of all homicides. National clearance rates for murder and manslaughter cases have fallen from about 90 percent in the 1960s to below 65 percent in recent years."

Davi OttenheimerOctober 19, 2010 4:31 PM

I guess I should have included this bit from the above link:

"We've concluded that the major factor is the amount of resources police departments place on homicide clearances and the priority they give to homicide clearances"

thecoldspyOctober 19, 2010 6:08 PM

(National clearance rates for murder and manslaughter cases have fallen from about 90 percent in the 1960s to below 65 percent in recent years.")

You are of course speaking of American rates, as in the linkage you gave says this:

Every year in America, 6,000 killers get away with murder.

This case happened in Dubai. And was carried out by a spec ops team of trained assassins who were videotaped committing the crime. The actual murder itself of course failed to show that one crucial piece of evidence, which was the assassins entry and exit into the victims room. Yes, it is funny how every other video shown was clear as the day is blue. But that one crucial piece of evidence can lead one to believe many different things:

1. Victim was not a victim, rather it was a cover to grab him or kidnap him or even help him to escape where he is now helping the other side.

2. It was all for show, or it was all a grand illusion which is why we have smiling assassins on camera.

3. It was real, but they disabled the one camera that would prove this was a real event. The reason being they didn't want to show sources or methods of entry or exit.

Or any number of other reasons could also apply. As for failing to make an arrest, well, the arrest can come at any time, now or even 20 years into the future.

shylock holmesOctober 27, 2010 9:57 PM

I'm not too sure about the reliability of the Globe and Mail report. For one thing, the arrest was supposed to have occurred during the summer, yet the story was only released now, in time for the diplomatic war between Canada and Dubai. For another, the story has gone cold: a simple government denial, and no investigative reporting by other media, national or otherwise. Thirdly, of all Canadian governments, this is the one that would be most likely to turn a blind eye to someone involved in killing Mabhouh--the government prefers to hunt down terrorists, as the current troubles of the Toronto 18 show.

BillNovember 3, 2010 7:04 AM

Hey Bruce:
My question is why is everyone making a 'victim' out of this guy. So, even if the Israelis did kill him, good on them. It wasn't as if this guy was an angel. He was a member of a terrorist organization. How many deaths of innocent civilians was he responsible for? But ion typical Western, politically correct fashion, we cry 'war crimes' on behalf of this scumbag. No sympathy from me, no sir.

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