Britain's Daily Mail paper reports that Israel's Mossad informed Britain's MI6 that it was carrying out an overseas operation using British passports. According to the report, the British government knew that Israel was using British passports for the purpose of the operation. "It wasn't a request for permission, but rather a courtesy call," a British security source is quoted as saying.
Despite the report, Britain has been critical of the use of British passports for the operation (in which Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was assassinated), in what has become clear as a case of identity theft.
The paper reported that Israel's intelligence agency did not inform Britain about the exact details of the operation, such as who was the target, and where it was to take place. The paper quoted a Mossad operative as saying that Britain's Foreign Office was updated hours before the operation took place, and that it was understood that Israel would receive a "slap on the wrist" from Britain and be told, "not to do this again". According to the report, Britain was not involved in the operation.
While security sources in Dubai and in Britain have been quick to blame Israel's Mossad for the attack, thus far, Israel has not publicly admitted that it carried out the operation. Britain's Conservative leader, David Cameron, said, "At the very least, we need some assurances about the future to make sure whatever has happened in the past can’t happen again." A journalist of the British Guardian paper was quoted as saying that the feeling in London is that Israel has gone too far, and that this was yet another symptom of the ailing relations between the two countries.
Dubai authorities have insisted that they are 99% sure that Israel's Mossad carried out the affair. Several of the passports are that of olim (immigrants to Israel from Britain), who have denied that they are part of the operation, and claim that their identities were stolen. Analysts have speculated on which intelligence agency could be so foolish as to use passports that are so clearly identifiable with Israel.
Yesterday, Britain asked Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor to 'clarify' the affair.