18 Feb 2010

What the Dubai murder says about airport security

The ‘Dubai 11’ did not just throttle a senior Palestinian official behind his hotel room door, they also blew a hole in European and Arab Emirate airport security.

Dubai airport is not just a two bit arrival and departure lounge for a small Arab country. It is a veritable cross roads for global airline traffic – one of the 10 most important international hubs in the world.

Yet its passport scanning machines failed to recognise that all 11 passports were not just fakes but quite awful fakes.

The Irish passports, according to the government in Dublin, for example had numbers that were too short and failed to include any of that country’s standard use of letters in amongst the numbers.

Israeli passport holders cannot enter Dubai using such documents, nor may they have any other passport that sports an Israeli stamp.

So for any of these 11, who each left airports in Germany, France, Austria and elsewhere, if they were Israelis (and many Mossad experts and former agents think they were), they will have had to deploy the fake passports at major European airports.

I have already described the farce of the liquids ban in earlier Snowblogs, I have also drawn attention to other security inconsistencies.

But the Dubai incident now describes a complete consistency – that all of these major airports – from Munich and Vienna to Dubai operated systems that failed to spot completely fake passports.

If it takes one man, setting his underpants on fire, to change the whole world’s air travel baggage rules, what on earth is the effect of 11 men carrying fake passports going to do?

Call in the body scanners? Perhaps not, this time around.


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58 reader comments

  1. med says:

    Suppose they had 2 passports – use genuine in Europe, false to enter Dubai?
    Israel has ‘form’. Check out BBC Norma Percy documentry c 2005 ‘Elusive Peace’ or ‘Israel and the Arabs”. See Ehud Barak boast re dressing as woman to ‘take out’ one of suspected Munich Olympics group 10 April ’73 in Beirut. Worth watching… Also reported in Ahron Bregman ‘A History of Israel’ p 261. (publ Palgrave 2002 isbn 0333676327)

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      Now that is plausible. The whole thing just seems too hammy to be genuine , but hey! a bloke was electricuted? at the end of it ..all eyes were on? How paranoid can this make you feel. No wonder Harold Wilson was always paranoid re intelligence.

      What would Agatha Chrisite think of it?

      Has Jon got a theory to explore or possibly a couple where we could work out the puzzle whilst drinking our liquid measures this pm?

  2. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    We also don’t know what help they got at passport controls. The passports from heresay, obviously fakes ,doesn’t rule out the possibility of alternative cooperative strategies.

    CCTV suspicions were not followed up immediately.It is hard to say who arranged what although as you say Mossad blame the Israelis .Doesn,t it make you think though ,in consideration of this highly sophisicated operation why such dummy- like cards should be played.? They can do it better in the films.

    It seems as though intellegence, runs all countries, thank goodness I have a low IQ.

  3. MarkW says:

    Jon, the Irish Government has now said that the passport numbers are genuine but the details, obviously, not. It is likely that US and UK intelligence agencies assisted. After all, they sat on their hands over Lebanon, Gaza and the continued illegal colonisation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    1. Lisa says:

      I completely agree with you. Apparently 6 of the suspects had dual nationalities Israeli/ British. The media are acting like it’s terrible that Israel faked passports WITHOUT reporting that the suspects were actually British nationals.

      I believe that M15/ MI6 were probably involved- why isn’t channel 4 reporting on this fact?
      Also why is no- one investigating the Austrian ‘command centre’?

    2. the-Richard-of-Nottingham says:

      “I believe that M15/ MI6 were probably involved- why isn’t channel 4 reporting on this fact?”

      Lisa, that makes no sense. Why would channel-4 news want to report the fact that you believe that MI5/MI6 were involved ?

    3. Little Jake says:



  4. Nicholas says:

    If proved to be Mossad I think we have to assume that there has been complicity from certain governments and their security services in this latest muder.Going one stage further I would like to know if any of these agents left from airports in The USA or The UK.I suspect not! The Israel Lobby has become too powerful and still no analysis of why the role of Israel in the build up to The Iraq War was never touched on at The Iraq Inquiry.

    1. Barry Tait says:

      Israel was behind Iraq too?

      Maybe that should be investigated, as well as a Syrian minister claiming Israel developed and spread H5N1 bird flu.

      Oh. and the Palestinian claimed Israel spread foot and mouth disease and also air dropped poisoned sweets into Gaza to specifically target kids.

      Oh and Jenny Tonge reckons the only reason Israel went to Haiti was to steal some organs.

      Oh and I’m pretty sure Israel was accused of 9/11 too by your ilk.

      And 7/7 of course. After all, an Israeli politician was here at the time and got a ‘covert warning’

      That darn lobby, always stopping the truth getting out.

      You should have been around in the 1930’s, you’d have had a field day.

  5. Pink Zoe Realm says:

    What ever you do, you be careful to stay away from tourists carrying Tennis Rackets & Inspector Clouseau Disguises, Saying A BOUMB A BOUMB cuz so far that is what missing from the Dubai Murder, OH by the way say hello to Freddie Forsyth, or maybe not this too SHABBY for Him :-) .

  6. Saltaire Sam says:

    The one good thing that might come out of this is that Israel stops being treated as a special case in every aspect of international policy.

    They have nuclear weapons, they bully their neighbours and it now looks likely that they steal people’s identity in order to commit murder.

    And before anyone raises it – no I am not anti-semitic and I am as appalled as anyone over the atrocities of WWII and the prejudice since. I also acknowledge that terrorists pose a threat to Israel.

    But none of us, including Israel, will ever overcome terrorism by becoming terrorists. Oppression is oppression whoever commits it.

    Just as being abused as a child doesn’t excuse a paedophile, suffering attempted genocide doesn’t give Israel the right to make life in Palestine intolerable.

    Hopefully this business will make Britain and the USA a bit more even handed.

    1. Mudplugger says:

      Saltaire Sam is bang on the money again.

      Israel plays two channels to achieve its objectives. The first is its immensely powerful lobbying, supported by financial dependency, of both the US and UK’s major political parties. Whichever party is in government, they’re in hock to the Israeli lobby, and they know it. It’s no accident that both Labour’s Dodgy Donor and Cash-for-Peerages scandals involved those named Levy and Abrahams is it ? And the Tories are no better.

      The second channel is the Holocaust Card, played either for real or by implication, whenever support may seem to wane. No-one can defend the atrocities to which European Jews and other minorities were subjected by one regime more than 70 years ago – but that was more than 70 year ago. That ‘card’ is long past its play-by-date – I am not guilty, so will not be held responsible for the actions of those who were – and, after 70 years, that’s pretty much all of us.

      Seeing the US and UK working even-handedly would be the best hope for peace, not only in the Middle East but also in the rest of the world which bears its impact every day.

    2. Jim Flavin says:

      Fine – but just wishful thinking – Not a chance of US / Israel changing tack.

  7. adrian clarke says:

    Well, well on the news and now in this blog Israel are guilty.That is guilty by opinion , not by proof.I am not for one moment suggesting they are not , but did not two of the as yet ALLEGED murderers come from an Arab country , i believe Lebanon.It was very late in the article to suggest they could be Arabs disillusioned with Hamas.I see the murdered man was himself a murderer , swanning around the world , so i have no sympathy for him .If it was the Israelis perhaps it was a practice run for Armadinajad.As for airport security is there any??

    1. Jim Flavin says:

      I did not realise that the murdered man was a convicted murderer- or is that just an opinion also?.

    2. adrian clarke says:

      i just heard that the victim was travelling on a false passport tut tut

    3. Saltaire Sam says:

      Adrian, I’m not condoning the victim’s past terrorist actions. But if they can get close enough to murder him, they could have taken him and put him on trial.

      We simply cannot claim to support democracy and the rule of law but then ignore it when it suits us. It may be uncomfortable, it may give the terrorists an advantage, but it is the reason we are fighting them,

      Terrorism is terrorism whoever commits it.

  8. Jon says:

    Airport security is not what it’s about. In the UK I know since they put a fast track in it is merely about charging people more. Other explanations would make no sense as surely if it was about security you would not play games.

    Sadly going air-side at an airport is merely about surrendering any rights you have to security guards and flight attendants. I intend to do it as little as possible. I am 90% sure it’s the kind of ordered fascistic planet our Prime Minister thinks is achievable for the rest of the country.

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      Security..It depends whose game it is and what is the motive .Fastracks are Loopholes , exits and entrances for other underhanded activities.

  9. Barry Tait says:

    The attitude by the Brits (especially by the hand-wringing, left wing) displaying their ‘moral-outrage’ over this is laughable to the extreme – especially when Ming Campbell actually said Britain doesn’t have an assassination policy. he said it with a straight face too, I almost fell off my chair.

    Let’s not discount British collusion in this affair. It is very plausible and now due to left wing media pressure and an upcoming election in which Labour have to court the Muslim vote, the British government is feigning outrage too.

    As for Gordon Brown’s speech about the symbol of Britain – the British passport, he must be having a laugh surely. Under Labour, this country has seen every man and his dog who wanted to settle here get that passport. They’re now being sold like cookies amongst the Kurds, Somali’s etc.

    What we have though, is the usual reaction from the usual suspects (C4News, Guardian, BBC) with over the top ‘rage’ at what is essentially done the world over. Yet the left always hold Israel to a different standard than any other nation.

    The Russians kill someone on British soil, the British get caught spying on Russia.

  10. Jim Flavin says:

    I too think this is not about Airport security – but about the power of USA and Israel to do what they like – if Israel and US are implicated – if not the point stands anyway – these two countries pay no heed to International law – never have in recent years . The Irgun Terrorists bombed the King David Hotel in 1948 or 49 – a very sucessful terrorist act – and one which some authorities say was a model for more recnt bombings . Yet this terrorism was celbrated at 60 th anniversary of the attack which murdered 90+ people . Israel does not give the ”proverbial” about other countries opinions – . As for UK having a change of heart – like ROI – it is a client state of US – which at times- lots of times -appears to do whatever Israel wants it to do .

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      Those are speculations by others also. They are stressing the fact that there are no American passports.

  11. adrian clarke says:

    The safest airport security is stop flights in the interests of the planet and the possible , maybe there is global warming

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      How would everyone get to their second homes without flights?

  12. anniexf says:

    The first rule of the UN: Thou shalt not criticise Israel for she is above reproach.

  13. jr says:

    one good thing which will come of this affair is that more people become aware that we’re all being lied to by our governments.

  14. Your name Peter Rosengard says:

    A ‘senior Palestinian official’? Don’t you mean a terrorist murderer..( He admittedon Al Jazeera only a week or so before his death to committing the murder of two captured Israeii soldiers
    He is a member of Hamas who are rightly regarded as a terrorist movement by the EU.

    1. Jim Flavin says:

      If I admitted to any killing or murders on a TV show – would that entitle others to kill me ?- or would I expect to be questioned and if enough evidence be put on trial and found guilty or not depending on the evidence . We abandon the Law at our own peril. There are quite a few people who seem quite happy to murder suspects – as happened again yestrday in Afghanistan -. If the law is disregarded to this extent – then what law is left . The US and Israel appear to have no regard for the Law ie Geneva Convention or any UN resolution they do not like . They have legitanised IMO just plain murder.

    2. margaret BrandrethJones says:
  15. Culverin says:

    Jon, you suggest that the passports were fakes, however, they weren’t – there was nothing fake about them.

    We provided the dodgy passports for the killers and now the government are in a whoops situation because they didn’t realise the stolen identities were going to be used for terrorist operations.

    Israel has done and will continue to do as it pleases until the complicit nations of the West stop playing along.

    Saltaire Sam sums things up quite nicely.

    1. the-Richard-of-Nottingham says:

      “…they weren’t – there was nothing fake about them.

      We provided the dodgy passports for the killers…”

      Mr Snow, I suggest that in future you don’t give cause for the conspiracy nutters to post on this blog. There are plenty of other blogs for them to rant about 9/11, Dianna’s death, fake Moon landings…, etc.

    2. margaret BrandrethJones says:

      That is just semantics gone beserk. The identities were fake , the passports were real…ugh

  16. Saltaire Sam says:

    That may well be true, Peter. But if someone murders my sister, would you think it right for me to murder teh criminal? Surely you would expect him or her to be brought to trial and dealt with through the courts? Is our system so flawed or fragile that we cannot prove a terrorist guilty beyond reasonable doubt and punish them accordingly?

  17. Lisa says:

    At 1:34 pm on February 18, 2010 Lisa

    I completely agree with you. Apparently 6 of the suspects had dual nationalities Israeli/ British. The media are acting like it’s terrible that Israel faked passports WITHOUT reporting that the suspects were actually British nationals.
    I believe that M15/ MI6 were probably involved- why isn’t channel 4 reporting on this fact?
    Also why is no- one investigating the Austrian ‘command centre’?

    At 3:01 pm on February 18, 2010 the-Richard-of-Nottingham wrote:

    “I believe that M15/ MI6 were probably involved- why isn’t channel 4 reporting on this fact?”
    Lisa, that makes no sense. Why would channel-4 news want to report the fact that you believe that MI5/MI6 were involved ?

    Hi sorry I didn’t make myself clear. What I meant was that there is an obvious European connection- the ‘command centre’ was in Austria, Mossad- if it was Mossad- all used fake European passports and with our standing in the middle East and connections with Isreal it should be investigated whether Britain was involved. What I mean is that the media seem to just report exactly from the horses mouth instead of doing any real investigations.

    1. the-Richard-of-Nottingham says:

      “What I mean is that the media seem to just report exactly from the horses mouth instead of doing any real investigations.”

      That’s because big chunks of the media and the horses mouth are one and the same thing. I’m talking about the BBC and NuLab here. It’s getting increasingly harder to find a truly balanced view of politics and events in today’s media. It’s much easier, and cheaper, to regurgitate what’s spun from the horses mouth.

    2. Little Jake says:

      The media doesn’t use the horse’s mouth: rather the other end.

  18. adrian clarke says:

    Saltaire i was not condoning the breaking of the rule of law.I wonder what would have happened had ,whoever they were, tried to arrest an arab on a forged passport in an arab country.It could not happen if they were Israelis as they are not allowed in Dubai.I suppose under that thinking we are not allowed to kill taliban or should not have killed Iraqis

  19. adrian clarke says:

    Jim isn’t it amazing .Suddenly with no proof the Americans are implicated.Why not us too for helping establish the state of Israel.I noted that last night the two arabs in custody, are now double agents, working for Mossad .So i expect it will not be long before they are tortured and produce a statement as such.
    You know that if this happened in Russia , China or any other part of the world we not hear about it , but it is the liberals media and bloggers who are outraged because they can have a go at Israel and now the USA , both at least are democracies.I suppose Israel should allow Palestinian atrocities , just like we should have allowed IRA ones .If it was Mossad , yet another stunning success.

    1. Jim Flavin says:

      And was the Nato muder of 33 ionocent civilians including women and children – another stunning sucess ?..As for Palestinian Terrorists – yes theye exist – just like Alqedaa and Taliban . But these terrorists ar tiny compared to the State Terrorism pereptrated by USA and Israel. The Palestinian etc terrorist – have rockets , rifles and use suicide bombers – but to make a big bomb – they [ Al – Qeda in this case ] have to rob a plane and drive it into a building [9/11].But the State Terrorists have Armiies , Tanks , all sort of modern weapons – and they use them – ask the people of Kosovo or Iraq or Afghanistan . As for Russia and China – they are now both big capitalist countries – and quite open – or at least as open as US govt is – which is not a lot . As for US and Israel being democracies – dont make me laush – or rather do. If one use the Greek meaning of word – or Lincolns words at Gettsyburg ” Govt. of the People, BY the People , FOR the People ”- there is not one country on the planet that I know where that situation exists .

  20. Lisa says:

    At 12:27 pm on February 19, 2010 the-Richard-of-Nottingham wrote:

    ‘It’s much easier, and cheaper, to regurgitate what’s spun from the horses mouth.’

    But to the massive detriment of the public’s knowledge. The BBC and Channel 4 news website has taken the story out of the main headlines- i.,e. at the end of the month it will be forgotten with maybe a small follow up story in a few months time when nobody cares anymore.

    Perhaps the news has a ‘blanket coverage’? Blanket coverage is a news black out at the request of the government. When Prince Harry served in Afghanistan there was blanket coverage but the US media leaked it by accident.

    1. anniexf says:

      The definition of blanket coverage:
      What you describe is usually referred to as a D-notice.

  21. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    Come on Robin Hood , you know darn well what Lisa meant.She meant why weren’t questions asked in that direction and why are appropriate channels not investigating. Those are reasonable questions in themselves and they might already be being acted upon. There again what we are assuming or theorising about is being looked at. C4 is looking at our comments, Investigative Journos will be informed of anything the editors think is relevant. MI5/6 will probably be monitoring certain aspects of it.
    Call it free….no but we can still speculate.

    1. the-Richard-of-Nottingham says:

      “There again what we are assuming or theorising about is being looked at.. C4 is looking at our comments,”

      Well they’re certainly moderating them, but I’m not sure how seriously they take them.

  22. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    This is why we are being encouraged to watch kitch TV, Join in with the private bimbos mentality, read chat magazines, do reality programmes where obtuse morons discuss their sordid affairs amongst drugs and alcohol in the open morning shows.

    The media tell us what is in demand and as there isn’t much alternative we sit there looking at rubbish rather than sit in silence or read. These are diversion tactics or WERE. We just need to look at the management style over the last 20 years to see how things are being manipulated .

    We don’t want serious all the time , but when kids talk of 4/5 A levels which we considered were junior school standard and goverments press on with that perspective something is wrong.

    1. Jim Flavin says:

      Turn off the TV and as I think u said – read books on wahtever topic – also there is plenty of good info[ and rubbish ] on the web – it is up to oneself to sift them out – but the idea that TV is there to give us political info just does not wash . Sometimes C4 are caught when govt . ministers refuse to come on News – but by and large TV News and Political programmes are a waste of time – when did u last see John Pilger or Noam Chomsky on a News Programme or any dissident . Whenit came to a debate on Climate cahnge the other week – they put Lord Lawson agiaist a Climatoligyist . Why did C4 not pit like aginst like – and hook up with a climatologist sceptic- eg Prof . Bob Carter from Austrailia ??. .

  23. adz says:

    Emirates airways give you METAL knives and forks to eat with…
    With regards to the passports, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest…
    The powerful can do what they want with us at the flick of a switch but that HAS to stop…
    Quick word on global warming-
    it’s snowing in London today for the third time in 12 months…Man made global warming my backside…
    As I said, at the flick of a switch…
    adzmundo CND

    1. Jim Flavin says:

      The Rich and powerful ruled us 5,000 years ago – they still rule us – but some progress has been made – but that is the rate at which it takes place – takes many , many years to achieve change . As regards man made climate change – it will fullfill its function – ie take money from u – via carbon taxes . It is just another scam to get your money – and guess who will get it [ the money ].?.

  24. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    When looking to diagnose something, anything in fact ,all physical evidence should be brought in to bear.

    In the case of global warming,empirical evidence, ethnographical evidence, researched physical evidence , geological events, existing knowledge re the core constituents of the planet etc.

    The only move which is a dangerous is the one which doesn’t take multifactor into consideration ,then sees one symptom and acts upon it. For example the sky is clear blue and the sun shines therefore it must be warm.

    The evidence which is dangerous is the the on/off switch as you say. The paper research brought in by arrogant pals thinking that they can prove a point with fiction.

  25. Y.S. says:

    My mate Ali G rekons he can get cheaper British Passports from da Israeli Embassy.

    1. margaret BrandrethJones says:
  26. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    They would take them seriously if it was implicating them in any way or money could be gained from the unexpected.

    To suggest that they are not taking comments seriously is simply to adhere to my outlook, that there are more vacuous fools around today, who will put their fingers into the fire and laugh all the way.

  27. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    To feed us political info is perhaps not the intention , but the whole of society and humanity is political, therefore what we soak up, is by nature political. If emphasis is put in any one direction or topic rather than another then that is feed.
    I actually think computer articles and computer reading is superior to paper, due to the diversity .

    I also think that TV is a media which helps people realise they are not alone. It provides a social service. Many people are alone at home and need the connection with the world, not just big brother like programmes and Anne Robinson teaching schoolchildren how to bully.
    There is an option to switch off, but tell the 80-90 year olds that when they are lonely.

    Another example . I have watched Jon Snow for many years therefore recognise his patter and TV persona , more than I do the people in the next Street… that is similar to many persons experience.

    1. Jim Flavin says:

      While TV may well be a companion to some extent – I dont think one will learn much from majority of stations – but there is a lot to learn on the WWW- until they get control of that too .

  28. adrian clarke says:

    Jim your comments never stop amazing you .I wonder what country you would be happy living in and how all us bloggers you disagree with are wrong and that the two biggest terroists are the USA and Israel.Though i do not respect what either of them do as always, within the law, at least their actions are in retaliation for what they see as wrongs against themselves.The true terroists are religious fanatics who wish to further their religious aims by agression .Muslims use Israel as their excuse .Israel was a democratic country established by the UN.That doesnt make them terroists nor does retaliation against rocket attacks and suicide bombers .

    1. Jim Flavin says:

      they are two of the biggest terrorist States – thats just a fact . As for terrorists often being religous extremists – I couldnt agree more – eg Bush and UBL – spot the difference . As for USA acting in retaliation – ask the people of Kosovo what they did to be bombed – or the Afghans or the Iraqis . The retaliation to Kuwait invasion was out of all proportion – and had OIL as its main aim .Moslems use Gaza ‘ West Bank sometimes- and yes I agre again – waht did they or the rich Arab countries ever do for Gaza – they are in US pockets – but still to stand idly by and watch waht has been done by Israel to palestinians for last 50 years or more . The retaliation aginst rocket attacks and suicide bombers again was way out of proportion – and continues to be so . Daily they make Palestinian lives unbearable . Would you like to have a check point/s at your town or city manned by a foreign country – thro which you had to pass thro daily at the whim of the occupying power .?

  29. adrian clarke says:

    Jim taking your argument back in history,we should have allowed Germany to annex Poland as we should have allowed Kuwait to become part of Iraq.Your argument that kicking out Iraq from Kuwait was about oil does not stand up.Had that been the case Bush senior would have continued to take the country instead of pulling back once mission accomplished
    As for Israel the Arabs have never liked it and wanted to get rid of the state.I was there when Egypt attacked Israel and got a bloody nose for its aggression.Then Lebanon tried it.The Palestinians could have had there state and lived alongside Israel in peace,but they stupidly under Arafat chose differently.Israel did right to build its arsenal of weapons and say you attack me and you will regret it.
    As for Kosovo i was under the impression it was a UN operation to stop ethnic cleansing

  30. margaret BrandrethJones says:

    Jim, I have heard that Jon in his lectures talks of content as being the king of journalism. I myself always add ;in that case ethics is the Queen.

    Your comments are so packed with knowledge and content, it is literally a textual literary critique which we need to decipher what is going on. This of course comes from experience and having to get a lot of info out, in very limited space and little time…. but really simplify it for me . I want to know.

    1. Jim Flavin says:

      Not really sure waht you mean , Margaret -. Sorry – If I dont make myself clear .

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