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A new theory about the death of the Hamas terrorist  Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai last January emerges: the intention was to drug and kidnap him, not kill him.

The story is derived from statements of supposition made by unnamed ‘US intelligence sources’, and does not solve the mystery of who killed al-Mabhouh and why.

Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh … was not targeted for death but for capture as a live hostage against the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier whom Hamas kidnapped four years ago in a cross-border raid from Gaza and holds without contact with the outside world. …

Mabhouh was to have been one of half a dozen high-value Hamas operatives Israel planned to grab in January in different parts of the Middle East as bargaining chips for the Israeli soldier.

As the man in charge of Iran’s weapons supplies to Hamas, Mabhouh was judged a key lever for obtaining the Israeli soldier’s freedom.

US [intelligence] sources believe the plan to snatch him from a Dubai hotel went smoothly enough up until the last step. But then, the drugs administered to knock him out appeared to have killed him on the spot. He was meant to be doped enough to let himself be bundled out of the hotel on his two feet in the middle of the team of abductors without drawing attention. According to this theory, the team was to have driven him to Dubai port and put him aboard a waiting yacht, which was to sail off and rendezvous with an Israeli naval missile boat in the Red Sea.

After delivering him, the same team was to have proceeded to its next target.

But whether they gave Mabhouh an overdose or whether his health was frailer than believed, he did not survive. The abduction team leader, lacking instructions for this exigency, decided to abort the mission and leave the dead man in place. He told the would-be abductors to get out of Dubai fast and scatter. The rest of the high-risk, ambitious plan was scrapped.

Had it succeeded, say the US sources, it would have been Israel’s biggest abduction operation ever, attesting to the extremely high importance Israel attaches to recovering its soldier from captivity.

Maybe.

Posted under Arab States, Islam, Israel, jihad, Muslims, News, Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 28, 2010

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