"In the past year, senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh had moved to the top of Mossad's list of targets, "each of which must be legally approved under guidelines laid down over half a century ago by Meir Amit, the most innovative and ruthless director-general of the service," Daily Telegraph columnist Gordon Thomas wrote.
These guidelines, claimed Thomas, state that "each execution must be sanctioned by the incumbent prime minister. Any execution is therefore state-sponsored, the ultimate judicial sanction of the law. The executioner is no different from the state-appointed hangman or any other lawfully-appointed executioner."
In an editorial published Wednesday, Thomas said the killing in Dubai "is a classic example of how Mossad goes about its work," adding that al-Mabhouh's 11 assassins had been chosen from the 48 current kidon (members of Mossad's assassination unit), six of whom are women.
"It has yet to be established how al-Mabhouh was killed, but kidon's preference is strangling with wire, a well-placed car bomb, an electric shock or one of the poisons created by Mossad scientists at their headquarters in a Tel Aviv suburb," said Thomas, who claims he wrote the only book approved by Mossad, Gideon's Spies.
"In their base deep in the Negev Desert – the sand broken only by a distant view of Israel's nuclear facility at Dimona – the kidon practice with a variety of handguns, learn how to conceal bombs, administer a lethal injection in a crowd and make a killing look accidental," he wrote.
"They review famous assassinations – the shooting of John F Kennedy, for example – and study the faces and habits of potential targets whose details are stored on their highly restricted computers. There, too, are thousands of constantly updated street plans downloaded from Google Earth."
In his column, Thomas also mentioned the assassination of Hezbollah commander Imad Mugniyah in Damascus two years ago. "Mossad psychiatrists, psychologists, behavioral scientists, psychoanalysts and profilers – collectively known as the "specialists" – were told to decide the best way to kill Mugniyah.
"They concluded that he would be among the guests of honor at the Iranian Cultural Centre celebrations in 2008 for the celebration of the Khomeini Revolution. The team rigged a car-bomb in the headrest of the Mitsubishi Pajero they discovered Mugniyah had rented, to be detonated by a mobile phone. As Mugniyah arrived outside the Culture Centre at precisely 7pm on February 12, the blast blew his head off," he wrote.
Thomas said that following the 2005 assassination of Fathi Shkaki in Malta, police who came to search his bedroom found a "Do not disturb" sign was on his door – "a signature that was repeated in last month's Dubai killing."
Shkaki was also at the top of Mossad's target list, the columnist wrote.