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How Dubai Unraveled a Murder

Dubai police had no human witnesses, only electronic ones, yet it was able to relatively quickly find the culprits of the murder of a Hamas commander named Mahmoud Mabhouh in a swanky hotel. How did they do it? Cameras track everyone who enters Dubai from the minute they walk off the plane; cars are tracked through automatic tolls, and hotels have cameras. A medical examiner spotted unusual marks on Mabhouh and concluded he’d been poisoned. Investigators quickly used surveillance tape to find the 27 people who didn’t belong in the hotel during the window in which the victim died and used facial recognition software to figure out their identities (or the stolen ones they used). They even tracked what one suspect bought at the mall. "They buy the best," a defense expert said. "They bought the latest technology in satellite and communications."