A persistent fall-back theory for almost any high-profile unexplained death is that “Mossad done it”. One author, Gordon Thomas, who had a best-seller with his imaginative Gideon’s Spies, has Mossad killing Robert Maxwell and playing a hand in the death of Princess Diana.
On Saturday, the Daily Mail published a long piece by David Jones under the headline: “Was Mossad behind the Alps murders?” Apparently Jones and “a team of Mail reporters” had “spent the past week probing the mystery” of the hitman-style killing of Saad al-Hilli, his family and a French cyclist.
The Mail team discovered that the joint French and British investigation was looking at three broad theories, none of which – as Jones admitted – had anything to do with the Israeli secret service.
However, “experts in the ruthless machinations of Middle Eastern espionage have also presented an increasingly plausible scenario which has not been explored,” the report explained. One of them is “a respected Middle East security analyst, who declined to be named”, but we are not told why he or she is so reticent. The other is a chap called Roger Howard who is not an expert on the Middle East, but does have a book out on, er, Mossad assassinations.
There then follows a cobbling together of an implausible theory for which there is zero evidence about a tryst between the dead family and the dead cyclist, Iranian nukes and a kid-killing team of Israelis; into which terms such as “highly likely” are thrown with no regard at all for their meaning.
But despite (or possibly because of) the stupidity of the Mail’s piece, expect to see a whole lot more on this on an internet site near you. If that anonymous security analyst would like to come forward and change my mind, they should. But I’m not holding my breath.