You can see it unfold frame by frame in the pictures taken by the luxury hotel's always-watching, always-recording closed-circuit TV cameras.
Click: Mr. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh of Gaza, Palestinian Territories and the terrorist world in general, checks into the luxury Al Bustan Rotana hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The time is punctiliously recorded: 15:25 Jan. 19, 2010. The distinguished, not to say notorious, guest has made no secret of his whereabouts. Nor does he have any reason to take precautions; he's in a friendly Arab country. And few have better security consultants. He couldn't be safer, or seem so. But he is already a condemned man, though he doesn't realize it. Not yet.
This is the day Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's extensive dossier will be closed. It includes acts others might consider crimes -- like the kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldiers, and smuggling arms into Gaza for indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians just across the border. But these same activities win him plaudits across the Islamic world. In Gaza, where Hamas misrules. In Hezbollah's domain in Lebanon. In Damascus and Teheran and various other terrorist capitals and financial centers. He is always welcome in Dubai. Indeed, he'll be here for the (short) rest of his life.
Click: At 15:30, our guest is shown stepping out of the elevator on his floor. A couple of other guests, nattily attired in tennis togs, are close behind. It's their serve, Call it Fifteen-Love.
Click: At 18:32, two more members of the visiting team are captured on film as they arrive at the always hospitable Al Bustan. Thirty-love.
Click: At 20:27, a couple of other guests at the hotel, traveling on what will turn out to be forged passports, are pictured monitoring the hall outside Mr. Mabhouh's room. Forty-love.
Click: At 20:46, a TV camera shows two suspects leaving Mr. Mabhouh's floor. Someone has left a sign on his door: Do Not Disturb. Although by now there's little danger of that. No one is likely to disturb Mahmoud al-Mabhouh ever again. Not in this life. Call it game, set, match.
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