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Paper Monitor

12:37 UK time, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

So. That alleged hit squad in the frame for killing a senior Hamas official in Dubai. What's it remind you of?

"All the hallmarks of a spy novel" - Daily Mail (gee, which ones?)
"A Frederick Forsyth page-turner" - Mail again
"A view... to a kill" - the Times, getting all 007

There were wigs and fake beards, "seemingly untraceable mobile phones" and a "clinically precise" method of killing, reports the Mail.

"But they overlooked one factor: in security-obsessed Dubai almost nothing escapes the Big Brother eye of security cameras. The Dubai police have collated hours of footage revealing the hit squad's every movement, from the moment they strolled nonchalantly up to the immigration desk and presented their cloned passports. A remarkable 27-minute composite of this action has now been released, and it may yet prove the team's undoing."

Which is why the Times and most of the others carry illustrated blow-by-blow narratives of what happened as the suspected assassins circled their prey.

"The assassination team were waiting for [Mahmoud al-Mabhouh] at the [airport] terminal. CCTV footage shows al-Mabhouh passing within metres of one of his killers. As the Hamas commander approaches the taxi rank outside the terminal, a spotter from the team can be seen sidling into shot behind him, speaking on a mobile phone to confirm the Palestinian's arrival."

And full marks to the Daily Star for finding space amongst its Brits coverage for the story, and for finding a way to make it chime with their readers. Its headline? "Find the blonde assassin."

Ditto the Daily Telegraph, with its headline: "A smiling assassin and mystery of the forged UK passports".

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