Was Mossad on a fantastic adventure in Dubai?
Evidence linking Israel to the affair is weak for courtroom purposes and also in the diplomatic sphere.
The story just gets more and more complicated, which on its face at least leads us into territory that is more than amazing - wild even - which is hard to judge by rational and professional means.
Twenty-six agents, perhaps even 30, sent to assassinate one person? Granted if they could flee the scene by sea, how could one think that Mossad agents would take cover in Iran? I ask myself. Even if they have unprecedented self confidence the likes of which are unknown?
Without disparaging the skill of Dubai's chief of police, he took pride that his investigators are much more professional than the Mossad people (whom he accuses of carrying out the operation). One must take into account that he might have gotten carried away in the success of what he had uncovered.
There is no doubt that more than a little of the information that he is disclosing or leaking to the media is part of an ploy in which bits of disinformation are planted. He's throwing out a lure in the hope that someone in Israel will swallow the bait and respond by incriminating himself or disclosing confidential information.
It began with a leak that on Mabhouh's body there were signs of brute force that were evident that he was tortured before he was killed. There was even a report that his assassins tied him up with wire. In fact it turned out that for 10 days the Dubai police thought he had died of natural causes, so clearly had he not been tortured.
Now the world is being fed new, allegedly even more dramatic, information about 15 additional suspects, which was released by the Dubai Information Ministry and not the police.
The police chief, who attracted international coverage, apparently isn't itching to advance the investigation. Last week he was out of the office for personal reasons and now it has been announced that he is on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
It is hard to believe that, if the Mossad intelligence agency carried out the operation, the planners were so irresponsible as to dispatch nearly 30 agents and to expose an entire select operational unit on one assassination operation. This is true even if we assume the planner thought the target should be hit no matter what, and even if hypothetically Mabhouh was on his way to Iran to arrange an arms deal that Israel had seen as changing the balance of power.
Either the new revelations are another salvo in Dubai's psychological warfare or the police investigators are groping in the dark. It is doubtful we will ever know the truth. The evidence linking Israel to the affair is still weak, certainly for courtroom purposes but also in the diplomatic sphere. But the saga also sends a message of deterrence to Hamas that the long arm of whoever carried out the operation can hit another senior Hamas official.