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An open letter to Rt Hon, David Miliband

March 25th 2010


Your statement about the fraudulent use of British passports (by Israel)
in the Dubai affair as recorded in Hansard


It is with great respect that I suggest that several aspects of the Dubai imbroglio, of which you may not be aware, may lead you, as a fair-minded person, to reconsider the views you presently hold. For example

1. You said that SOCA concluded that the forged passports were copied from genuine British passports when handed over for inspection to individuals linked to Israel. This focus on Israel as the only suspect diverts attention away from other avenues that deserve equally intense investigation, if the truth is sought.

For example, the fake passports at issue could have come from any of the flourishing passport factories in London open for trade with all comers. On February 26, Sue Reid in the Daily Mail described the "frightening ease", with which foreign terrorists and criminals can obtain fake EU passports made to order in 48 hours at counterfeiting factories in North London. (note the plural). She bought three forged passports for £1,200 each. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-388912/My-fake-passport-Britain.html

There are many other likely sources. The passports used in Dubai could even have been issued fraudulently by the British Home office, which has admitted to having issued 10,000 genuine British passports to fraudulent applicants. According to Mail online of March 21, 2007, an Al Qaeda fanatic was issued with nine British passports, seven in his own name and two in fraudulent identities, while he was plotting to murder thousands of people in a series of terrorist atrocities. http://www.2nd-thoughts.org/id263.html

Another worry is that thousands of stolen passports are still in circulation resulting from a hijack in 2008 of 3,000 blank British passports and visas that were destined for British embassies abroad. The Mail online described the hijacking as a 'real coup' to terrorists, illegal immigrants and fraudsters.

Moreover, a Google search for fake passports reveals countless offers for genuine looking but fake EU, British, USA, Canadian and Australian passports. See for example
2. You also announced that you intend to amend your travel advice on Israel to make clear the potential risk British nationals face that their passports might be misused when visiting Israel. Once again I suggest sir, that the focus on Israel is misplaced. One may well ask whether Dubai will be included in this travel advisory, as the photos of passports of the Dubai suspects that have been repeatedly published in the media are proof positive that passports of visitors are routinely copied at Dubai airport.

In fact I would be surprised if most international airports do not routinely scan the passports of visitors.

3. You said that SOCA concluded that the high-quality of the forgeries indicated they were made by a state intelligence service, with the implication that the only possible suspect must be Israel leading to your draconian decision that a member of the Israel embassy be withdrawn from the UK. Again, with great respect I ask how SOCA could possibly evaluate the quality of the forgeries without examining the documents. All that was available to them were copies of particular pages.

4. A number of unresolved question marks must throw doubt not only on Israel's involvement in this affair, but even whether Mr. Mabhouh was indeed murdered, committed suicide or died by misadventure. For example

a) Gulf News reported that when the body was found on January 20 at 13.30, the door to Mr. Mabhouh's room was securely locked from the inside and latched with the safety chain in place, indicating the possibility of suicide or misadventure.  It is astonishing that this vital information has been glossed over instead of receiving the attention it calls for. On the one hand the media and the Dubai Police describe the Mossad as clumsy and incompetent, having been unaware of the CCTV cameras and leaving behind evidence including DNA samples. On the other hand they assume that Mossad agents are so brilliant that they are able to leave a room securely locked from the inside with a latch and chain firmly in place.

b) On the very day the body was discovered, Palestine News Agency Ma'an reported that Mabnouh had died of cancer, indicating a possible hasty cover-up of a possible suicide or other misadventure. This was followed by silence on the subject until the official announcement of his death, nine days later, allowing sufficient time to change the cancer story and invent an assassination, implicating Israel, with video clips and false passports deliberately using the identities of people living in Israel, in order to cast suspicion on that country.

The use of Israeli identities in the fake passports is a powerful indicator that Israel was not involved. It is highly improbable that if the Mossad had prepared the forged passports they would have pointed the finger at Israel by using the identities of persons living there.

c) The hotel's CCTV cameras clearly cover the doors to the rooms as is evident from one of the video clips of "Gail" walking in the corridor with the doors in the background. That the cameras did not capture the crucial evidence for which they are intended, namely to photograph culprits breaking into and leaving Mabhouh's room points either to a damming security failure or the possibility that there was no irregular entry into the room.

The many widely distributed video clips of people walking outside the elevators and at the airport are meaningless. In a busy hotel this happens all the time and it is not difficult to piece together shots taken at different times to produce a fictional sequence.

d) To compound the confusion, on March 3, the London Telegraph reported that Al-Quds Al-Araby reported that Hamas itself believe that "the security forces of an Arab state were behind the assassination". No less than Mahmoud Nasser, a member of Hamas' political bureau spoke of efforts to kill Mabhouh who was being tracked by agents from Jordan and Egypt as he was in possession of information dangerous to particular Arab elements seeking to topple Islamist resistance. The author, Douglas Murray suggested then, that you sir, should have summoned the ambassadors of Jordan and Egypt to the Foreign Office. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/douglasmurray/100028233/hamas-arab-state-behind-dubai-assassination/

On February 22, The Independent reported that Gulf News and al-Khaleej newspapers in the United Arab Emirates quoted police chief, Lieutenant-General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, as saying that a Hamas member played a significant role in the killing of Mabhouh.

The report also referred to a request by the Gaza-based Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, that the UAE extradite to Gaza two Palestinian suspects the Dubai police are holding in connection with the assassination.

Al Asharq Alawsat  carried the headline "Palestinian Dubai Murder Suspects are Hamas Members - Palestinian Security Official" The PA police spokesman said, ".. they work for the security apparatus of Hamas, and one of them holds the rank of major..I ask Hamas to reconsider and open investigations into all previous assassinations, and inform us how Hamas Interior Minister Said Seyam was assassinated, as well as Hamas leader Abdul Aziz al-Rantissi, and senior Hamas member Ismail Abu Shanab, and many others."

A dispassionate observer cannot help but observe the zealous focus on Israel while all other suspicious avenues are ignored, though intellectual honesty would require they be examined with equal diligence.

e) Despite the brouhaha about fake passports, the Dubai Police Chief told Press TV that the passports used by members of the terrorist squad who killed Mabhouh were not fake. He said that Dubai immigration officers have undergone training courses by European security experts and are qualified to spot fake documents.

f) Details of forged passports used by the supposed assailants have been widely publicized, but one must ask why no information at all has been provided about the five fake passports used by Mabhouh. Was there a fake British passport among them?

Sir, in the circumstances above, I respectfully urge you re-assess your attitude to Israel in this matter, taking into account the many additional avenues that need to be investigated in order to arrive at a fair and just evaluation of the matter.

This open letter will be made public and your considered response will be appreciated and will be similarly published


Maurice Ostroff

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