World news

More British passports linked to Dubai murder

By Jessica Elgot, February 23, 2010

Two more British passports have been linked to the assassination team that killed a Hamas militant in Dubai.

Two additional Irish passports were also linked to the killing. Yesterday in Brussels, Foreign Secretary David Miliband held a 45-minute meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, to discuss allegations that the death of Hamas’s Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was the work of Mossad agents.


Lieberman: Don't blame Mossad for Dubai murder

By Jessica Elgot, February 22, 2010

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has told his Irish counterpart that there was no evidence Mossad carried out the murder of a Hamas militant in Dubai.

Mr Lieberman met Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin in Brussels to discuss the use of false Irish passports by the assassins, suspected to be Israeli intelligence agents. Six British passports were also used.

Mr Lieberman said: “The Middle East has a lot of internal struggles between nations and bodies that are not as democratic as Israel.” He clarified that he meant bodies such as Fatah and Hamas.


Former Ilford pupil dies in go-karting accident

By Robyn Rosen, February 22, 2010

A former Ilford Jewish Primary School pupil has died after her scarf became tangled in a go-kart in Hong Kong.

Amy Rose Coxall, 15, was go-karting with friends at the Diamond Coast International Kart Circuit in Tuen Mun when her go-kart reportedly veered off the track and stopped suddenly.

Local reports suggest that Amy was pronounced dead on arrival at the Tuen Mun Hospital at 4.30pm on Wednesday.

Amy was a pupil at Ilford Jewish Primary School for two months in 1999 before her family moved to Hong Kong, where she was a pupil at the Island School.


Israel's camel cavalry: How to improve Israel's PR

February 19, 2010

Israel's information and diaspora minister, Yuli Edelstein, arrived in Britain today at the forefront of a new campaign designed to improve the country's tarnished public relations image.

The timing could scarcely be worse, in the wake of the intense media speculation about the murder in Dubai last month.

But Mr Edelstein brushed off the issue, saying first that the campaign had been more than six months in the planning, and second, that he did not "have the first idea who is responsible for the Dubai killing — and I checked with the right sources yesterday."


Mossad 'told MI6 before Dubai murder'

By Jessica Elgot, February 19, 2010

A Mossad agent has apparently claimed that British intelligence was tipped off hours before about a high-profile assassination, and that British passports would be used.

Although the target, Hamas military leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, and the location, a luxury hotel in Dubai, were not named, the source told the Daily Mail that MI6 knew the operation was imminent.

The Mossad agent reportedly said that British ministers were “going through the motions” by calling in the Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor yesterday.


Interpol wanted notices for Dubai Hamas assassins

By Jessica Elgot, February 18, 2010

Interpol has issued wanted notices for the suspected Mossad agents accused of killing a Hamas militant in a luxury Dubai hotel.

Interpol’s website published pictures of the 11 assassins they wished to trace in connection with the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Their offence is listed as “crimes against life and health”.

The wanted notices released by Interpol do not constitute an international arrest warrant. Instead, they give details of the accused, to be disseminated worldwide, and request that they be arrested.


Dubai assassination was a masterclass in intelligence

By Scott Stewart, February 18, 2010

There have been enormous and dramatic changes in the use of passports and visas over the last 10 to 15 years. It is no longer so easy to counterfeit, and it is also much harder to alter such documents.

Today - ironically, in order to prevent terrorists travelling - passports and visas now have RFID chips embedded, making them much harder to forge. A lot of the lower-level kind of forgeries will diminish and in future it will only be the high-end counterfeiters who will operate.


Nazi-looted Matisse painting returned to Frankfurt

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

It travelled around Europe for a decade, passed through the hands of a senior Nazi officer and was displayed in a Paris museum for almost 60 years.

But an original Matisse painting, looted by the Nazis from a German Jewish family, has finally been returned to its rightful owner's home city.

Le Mur Rose (The Pink Wall), worth about £174,000, was handed to Frankfurt's Jewish Museum last Thursday by Magen David Adom UK, which was willed the 1898 oil canvas in a legacy. The Frankfurt municipality, the German government and a local bank shared the cost of the painting.


Fraudsters steal Holocaust victims reparations money

By Paul Berger, February 18, 2010

An organisation that distributes German reparations to Holocaust victims around the world has fired three employees following a suspected fraud estimated at more than £200,000.

The New York office of the Claims Conference called in a private law firm late last year after employees came forward with suspicions that co-workers had approved dozens of fraudulent applications.

Executive vice president Greg Schneider said he feared the Claims Conference may have discovered "100 or more" fraudulent claims, each worth €2,500 (about £2,100).


Was the Indian bomb meant for Chabad?

By Saikat Datta in Pune and Demian Smith, February 18, 2010

Security officials are not ruling out the possibility that Chabad House was the real target of the bombing in India last weekend, as it was opposite the bakery which was destroyed.

Eight people were killed and scores were injured when a bomb ripped through a popular restaurant in Pune, east of Mumbai, last Saturday evening. The German bakery was located just a few metres from the Chabad-Lubavitch centre across the street.