WSJ on the Mabhouh assassination

The Wall Street Journal has a very nice long investigative piece on the investigation into the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, focusing especially on one suspect, UK citizen Christopher Lockwood, aka Yehuda Lustig, an Israeli believed to have died in Sinai in the 1973 war. It all sounds like a spy thriller.

Lockwood/Lustig, believed to be the son of early Zionist settlers in mandate-era Palestine, had a nominal British residence but traces of him exist around the Middle East. He came in and out of Dubai, prepared the ground for the assassins, and even shipped a van to Iran (possibly for a related operation, since some of the alleged killers took a ferry to Iran after Mabhouh's death.)

From the end of the article:

When investigators discovered that Mr. Lockwood was once known as Mr. Lustig, the plot appeared to thicken. Mr. Lustig's birth certificate indicated he was born in Glasgow on Feb. 23, 1948. Mr. Lustig's father was a veterinary student who had married in Palestine, then under British control.

Investigators figured he probably changed his name from Lustig to avoid suspicion while traveling in the Middle East, according to people familiar with the probe.

But Mr. Lustig's military service history—described in six Israeli memorials, including an official obituary posted on the Israeli Ministry of Defense's website—indicates the man of that name died in combat in a barrage of rocket fire in the Sinai Peninsula.

That clouded the picture—and suggests that an unknown person fraudulently used the dead soldier's identity to obtain a British passport. Investigators appear to be back at square one in figuring out who that is.

Not so sure about that conclusion. If you look at the pics the WSJ provides of Lockwood and Lustig, they could very well be the same man, 40 years apart.

Lockwood and LustigSimilar nose and eyes, same chin and lips. Maybe Lustig never died in 1973, but was simply made to disappear so he could more easily operate as an agent.

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