26 February 2010

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh assassination - the plot thickens

After the last news about Dubai chief of police uncovering another 15 killers of the late Hamas chief, I have decided to let the subject rest for a few years. After all, when you see how the story quickly outgrows the impressive dimensions of the Murder on the Orient Express, you may want to wait till the final numbers become published. As it is today, Guinness people should already take heed and open a new rubric: a record number of killers per single person. But they, most probably, wisely decided to wait for the final report too.

I'm not sure that, as Meryl suggests, we are dealing in this case with a bumbler policeman of Inspector Clouseau type. I am personally inclined to think along the lines of a Middle Eastern version of Hercule Poirot. And I am eagerly anticipating the final scene of the story, where the master sleuth gathers all suspects and all other interested parties to disclose the Truth. Of course, the logistics in this case will be not that simple, but I hope they have a large enough stadium in Dubai, at least large enough for the suspects alone...

Anyhow, this is only a part of the master sleuth's tasks, and it seems to be going fairly well. There is another part, though, dealing with the ways and means of this killing. The more information becomes available, the more unbelievable and outlandish the story grows to be. Of course, until the moment when our Hercule P. reveals all to the masses. But still, the ways in which Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was dispatched to his heavenly rewards are baffling, to say the least. Just from these two sources:

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.
But then we get a lot of contradicting facts:
Initial medical reports stated that the cause of death was due to an increase in blood pressure on the brain.
I am not sure how it's done, but it's probably some devilish chemistry at work.
A local autopsy detected burns from a stun gun on his chest, under his ear and in his groin...
So it's taser or another similar electric gizmo. This version is strengthened by the following quote:
Mahmoud's brother told AFP by telephone, that an investigation showed Mahmoud was killed by an electrical appliance held to his head.
But, on the other hand:
...local doctors diagnosed a heart attack, induced by a drug injected by the hit squad.
Curiosier and curiosier. And it doesn't let up as we continue:
On January 31, Emirati Law reported that the Dubai Police Chief said that forensic examination showed Mabhouh was suffocated with a pillow by a professional criminal group. He made no mention of electrocution nor blood.
The list includes another curious mention:
The Indian Siasat Daily reported that the Dubai Police Chief told Gulf News that a Hamas member had played a significant role in the killing.
But I think we shouldn't include the Hamas member in the list of the ways and means, unless he is to be considered a blunt instrument.

There is, however, another element of the mystery that I've intentionally left for the end, for real connoisseurs of murder thrillers: the locked room mystery :
On Wednesday the 20th January 2010 at 1.30 pm, Al Bustan Hotel's administration opened the door to the victim's hotel room, which was locked from the inside with the latch and chain in place...
I really don't know what to say. Aside of the strong sympathy I feel for the Dubai chief of police. The man is dealing with a formidable mystery here. Or a formidable foe. Or both...

Just as a last line of defense, I would offer the chief a following sequence of events that conforms to a simple case of suicide:
  1. The deceased (D) locks the room and puts the security chain on.
  2. D tasers self on his chest, under his ear and in his groin.
  3. D injects self with a drug that eventually increases blood pressure in the brain.
  4. D injects self with a drug that eventually causes a heart attack.
  5. D connects self to the wall power outlet, probably using a table lamp cord with a switch.
  6. D ties self up with a wire and lies down on his bed (while connected to the electricity source)
  7. D bites on a pillow to suffocate self, while simultaneously pressing (with his toe or something) the switch that electrocutes him.
  8. D expires.
But of course, we shouldn't forget: there is another fallback, to be used in a dire emergency only: the death notice of January 21, 2010, talking about D's demise of a natural cause.

So, I think that, all things considered, the Dubai chief of police is in a good shape re this case. All venues are still open. Cool.

Update: as Finzz correctly suggests in the comments, all steps 1-8 were undertaken while being seduced by a person of a female persuasion dressed in in a hotel uniform.

13 comments:

Finzz said...

Don't forget this from the Times Feb 16th:

<span>Details of the method of his murder remain unclear. In January Dubai police said that Mr al-Mabhouh appeared to have allowed his killers into his hotel room, where he was suffocated or strangled. One report suggested that the killer gained entry to his room because the woman member was dressed in a hotel uniform. He was reported to have been electrocuted and poisoned. Hamas has vowed to avenge the assassination.</span>

soccerdhg said...

Now things are starting to make sense. Israel sent 15 or 26 or 30 folks to off him. Why the redundancy?

To kill him multiple times!

As I recall Abu Nidal died of multiple self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head.

Stranger things have happened.
:)

David All said...

Latest developments.
"Dubai police: We have '100 percent' DNA proof of one assassin" at http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1152610.html

Wonder what sort of DNA could that be? If what Finzz suggests about a pretty woman being involved is correct, think we can figure that out.

I imagine the Dubai police chief to be like Captain Renault (Claude Rains) in "Casablanca". A corrupt, brutal, opportunistic yet effective commander who promptly rounded up all the usual suspects his cops could get their hands on and has been busy extracting (correct term) information from them. No doubt some of it is contradicting, which is why there are these different accounts being circulated of what happened and how many people were involved.   

SnoopyTheGoon said...

30 is just a start, SD, you just wait!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

We shall see, David - this police chief has a great future. In comedy shows, I mean.

Anonymous said...

Over at his Atlantic blog, Jeff Goldberg refers to a Dubai police claim that two of the assassins departed Dubai for Iran. If so, it's hardly likely that the Mossad was involved.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Who knows? It could be that the duty free in Tehran's airport is especially good ;-)

Akaky said...

Aha, so now we now: Rube Goldberg was the assassin!  I would explicate on this further, but at the moment I am at work, enjoying heat, electricity, hot and cold running water, and Net access, all of which I dont have at home, thanks to the nor'easter that just blew through this neck of the woods, leaving three feet of snow, downed power lines, and equally downed trees all over the place. I am not a back to nature kind of guy, you know, and I really dislike having to go back to nature inside my own home.  You know, no one ever really appreciates Sir Thomas Crapper's greatest invention until the thing doesnt work anymore.

Akaky said...

Actually, it's Aha, so now we Know. must learn to proofread...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oh boy... how did I live that many years in similar places? I mean places with snow and sleat falling down on people's heads...

I hope it will be over soon, Akaky, and you will be able to partake of your own home hospitality again.

As for Rube G. - it rather looks like the victim was of that kind himself, not being able to decide on the best way to leave this world ;)

Dick Stanley said...

Been following the snowicane on accuweather. Heck of a way to spend the weekend. As for Rube G., Yourish has it right, linking to the Facebook page entitled "I was also a part of the Dubai assassination squad." I have added my name to the mix. Least I can do for the hapless gumshoes of Dubai.

Anonymous said...

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