Would Mossad Agents Really Flee to Iran?

Eli Lake, in a very interesting piece, poses some good questions:

...Some details have emerged that do not track with traditional Israeli intelligence tradecraft. The Dubai authorities this week said two of the operatives fled to Iran.

Michael Ross, a retired officer for the Mossad's covert-operations division, said it would be a breach of Israeli protocol for an operative to flee to another target country like that after an operation.

He also said that it was unlikely that Israel would use 26 people for a job that would require far fewer people. "The Mossad believes if two people can do something instead of three people, then send two."

Duane Clarridge, a retired clandestine service officer and founder of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, said all signs suggested that Israel was behind the killing of the Hamas operative, but that is unlikely to affect allies' intelligence cooperation with Israel.

"I don't think anyone is going to come out and say, 'That was wonderful,'" Mr. Clarridge said. "But on the other hand, this will not have an effect on Mossad's relationship with other intelligence services over the long run. That is why intelligence-to-intelligence relationships exist, so they can carry on in moments like this."

Don't get me wrong. This sounds like a Mossad operation. But going from a semi-dangerous place to a very dangerous place? That is either stupid, or exceedingly clever.