ergo, the passports were fake, but in the names of real people

I’m not too sure which photos are which, but the newer UK passports would be harder to fake; they have holograms over the photos – RB

“It’s not me”, man in Israel says in hit-squad saga
Jeffrey Heller, Reuters, Feb 16 2010

A man in Israel with the same name as an alleged member of a hit squad that assassinated a top Hamas militant in Dubai said on Tuesday he was “angry, upset and scared” over what he called a misidentification. Dubai police listed “Melvyn Adam Mildiner”, a British national, as one of 11 Europeans suspected of killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a luxury hotel in the Gulf emirate last month. Speaking in British-accented English, Melvyn Adam Mildiner, resident of a town near Jerusalem, told Reuters he had nothing to do with the assassination and had never been to Dubai:

I woke up this morning to a world of fun. I am obviously angry, upset and scared, any number of things. And I’m looking into what I can do to try to sort things out and clear my name. I don’t know how this happened or who chose my name or why, but hopefully we’ll find out soon.

A photo of “Melvyn Adam Mildiner” released by police in Dubai did not match a picture of the Israel-based Mildiner on his Twitter social networking page, though it had some similar features. Mildiner said:

It’s not me. Which is one silver lining on this entire story because at least I can point to it and say, ‘Look, that’s not me.’ It’s not the picture that I have in my passport, and it’s not the picture that I have on my face that I walk around with every day. I have my passport. It is in my house, along with the passports of everybody else in my family, and there’s no Dubai stamps in it because I’ve never been to Dubai.

Acknowledging that his name was uncommon, Mildiner said:

There’s probably not many of us.

Israeli hit squads have used non-Israeli passports in the past, notably in 1997, when agents who bungled an attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Jordan entered the country on Canadian passports. One of the agents had a passport bearing the name of a Canadian living in Israel, who later said he was the victim of identity theft. In 2005, Israel apologized to New Zealand after two suspected Mossad agents were sentenced to six months in jail by a court in Auckland that found they had sought to obtain a New Zealand passport illegally.

‘Hamas hit squad’s’ passports fake, say UK and Ireland
BBC, Feb 16 2010

The British and Irish governments have said that passports belonging to the alleged killers of a top Hamas official are fake. Ireland said the names Gail Folliard, Evan Dennings and Kevin Daveron, plus their passport numbers did not match anything issued by Ireland. Britain said it believed six British passports were also fakes. The suspects were named by police in Dubai where Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was murdered in his hotel on Jan 20. A French and a German are also suspected of playing parts in the assassination.


  1. keiandyuri
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Of course, they could live without this fear tomorrow if their creepy sneaky murderer gangs would go without being what they are. It could be a logical and just consequence, an unintended consequence, an act of god or a mistake, but they can never blame themselves.

  2. moonkoon
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to know how the plane tickets were purchased.

    … Most of the suspects flew from Frankfurt, Paris, Rome and Zurich. Michael Bodenheimer travelled from Frankfurt.

    The suspects never made direct phones call to each other, instead making several calls to a number in Austria that police believe was a command centre.

    There is also a timeline of the terrorists’ comings and goings in the story. A sample…

    10.30pm Daveron and Folliard leave the country for Paris. Evan Dennings departs to Zurich four hours after the crime; James Leonard Clarke leaves after 12 hours for Frankfurt; Melvyn Adam Mildiner and Stephen Daniel Hodes leave for South Africa after two hours; Michael Bodenheimer and Jonathan Louis Graham head for Hong Kong after three hours; and Michael Lawrence Barney leaves after 10 hours for Frankfurt.

    January 20
    1.30 pm Al Mabhouh is found dead in his room. Staff open the door to the victim’s room, which was locked from the inside with the latch and chain in place.

  3. moonkoon
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Passport perfidy.

    … MARK COLVIN: Not to mention the, not to mention the feelings of the individuals involved who’ve had their identities stolen.

    PAUL MCGEOUGH: The individuals are interesting; a good number of the six Brits are Israeli-British. They are seemingly live in Israel and they have volunteered that yes it is their passports or their data.

    MARK COLVIN: No, but there are British citizens quoted in the British press today who say “I haven’t left Britain for two years, somebody has stolen my identity”.

    PAUL MCGEOUGH: Yep, yep that’s right. Now what happened when I came across in researching the Khalid Mishal incident was that quite often what the Israelis do is they borrow the details of a passport, either as a traveller who is going through Immigration.

    Or they you know on a Kibbutz or somewhere like that, several of these people are living on Kibbutz’s. They get a friendly operative within the Kibbutz to borrow the passport or simply to purloin it and (inaudible) the details and then they use it to their own end.

    Now the Mossad runs what they call their passport factory, Victor Piotrowski, the Canadian-Israeli former Mossad agent wrote graphically about this in his book where he saw thousands of passports from all different countries around the world stockpiled in the passport factory where they could be called upon as need be. …

  4. niqnaq
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I got something more up-to-date from Haaretz today, but I hadn’t spotted the British citizens quoted in the British press today who say “I haven’t left Britain for two years, somebody has stolen my identity.” I should say this is incorrect; he is probably thinking of Keeley, who has lived on a kibbutz for more than a decade, and said that he had not left Israel for the past two years. It would be difficult for the Mossad to gain access to the passports of people who hadn’t even visited Israel. But in any case this seems like a very stupid move by the Mossad.

    NB, moonkoon, your ABC pundits are also wrong about the name of the ex-Mossad author: it’s Victor Ostrovsky, not Victor Piotrowski. If they were Israelis, I’d say they were doing this on purpose 😉

  5. moonkoon
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Famous last words in the Haaretz headline on the story today. 🙂

    Israel has nothing to worry about over Dubai killing

  6. niqnaq
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    By their ‘respected security correspondent’, Yossi Melman, as the Guardian notes 😉

  7. moonkoon
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Being as how the Israelis have just dropped the Austrians right in it, I bet this went over like a lead balloon today. 🙂

    Peres to Austrian FM: Europe must speak out against Ahmadinejad
    Published: 02.17.10, 11:02 / Israel News
    President Shimon Peres said to Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger that he is surprised by the world’s and the international community’s conduct for still not calling Ahmadinejad for what he is – a dictator who shoot unarmed civilians and calls for genocide, according to Peres.
    Europe’s moral voice on the issue is very important and must be heart, said Peres to the Austrian foreign minister, who is currently visiting Israel. He added that the Iranian people must not be left alone in their moral battle. (Roni Sofer),7340,L-3850383,00.html

    … In Austria, the interior ministry said it had launched an investigation into the suspected use of at least seven mobile phones with pre-paid Austrian chips by Mabhouh’s killers. The killers reportedly never made direct phone calls to each other but dialled into a communications centre in Austria – described by Dubai as the “command centre” for the operation.

  8. niqnaq
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    It just gets worse… I suppose the explanation is that, having succeeded in persuading the upper echelons of western diplomacy and government that Hamas are just ‘terrorists’ and therefore subhuman, the Israelis have assumed that public opinion (not to mention the professional opinion of all the actual serving personnel in all the various European organisations affected) doesn’t matter. And after all, Hillary will back them up no matter what they do.

    UK PM Brown has promised an ‘enquiry’ into the passports, but since these people are not UK residents, all this amounts to is that someone from the FO will go and bleat at the Israelis for a day or two.

  9. lobro
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    so many (international) israelis, but only one hole to barf through … one example:
    By their ‘respected security correspondent’, Yossi Melman, as the Guardian notes

    wtf does that mean/how did guardian arrive at that, as a universal quality/quantity?
    shaquille o’neal is TALL (taller than 99.9% populace)
    yossi melman is RESPECTED (respected by 99.9% populace)

    we can verify the first line by considering census figures, so let’s see the corresponding figure re. respect for yossi melman and/or his tribe.

    waiting for an article in popular mechanics describing the tech wonders of respected talmudist passport factory (not sure if they own agroprocessors or vice versa but both are equally respected).

  10. niqnaq
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    yeah, well he’s ‘respected’ by Ian Black, the Guardian’s Foreign Editor, who speaks fluent Israeli, I mean, Hebrew.

  11. moonkoon
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Robert Fisk reports that, according to his Abu Dhabi source, at least some of the passports are not forgeries.

    … It was a source – impeccable, I know him, he spoke with the authority I know he has in Abu Dhabi – to say that “the British passports are real. They are hologram pictures with the biometric stamp. They are not forged or fake. The names were really there. If you can fake a hologram or biometric stamp, what does this mean?” …

    He suggests collusion.

  12. niqnaq
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Fisk has become a bit pontifical himself, hasn’t he? No, this is the rational aspect of the Mossad’s motive in doing it this way, namely, boasting: they’re saying to us, “Look, we can fake these things with our eyes shut!”

  13. moonkoon
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Fisk has become a bit pontifical himself…

    Having just read a few of his stories (I don’t usually), I think I would have to agree. 🙂

    By the way, Evie sends her regards. 🙂

    Pls. give RB (that meanie) my greetings …

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