The day after the Mossad Dubai hit team money trail to Yuval Tal was exposed by many news outlets including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, a 2006 video clip of Tal speaking as a former Israeli special forces soldier was pulled by his business partner Yaniv Chechik. Tal's company Payoneer is largely funded by a Herzliya-based company whose founder served in Unit 8200, an elite technology unit of the Israeli Intelligence Corps.
Yuval Tal is the Israeli CEO of Payoneer Inc., which provides prepaid MasterCards issued by MetaBank as used by the perpetrators of the January 19, 2010 Dubai killing of a senior Hamas operative. Payoneer is now based in New York and maintains a research and development center in Tel Aviv, which is where it was founded in 2005. Payoneer used to supply cards issued by First Bank of Delaware, but Tal announced that Payoneer would be switching "all cards" over "to Metabank".
Yuval Tal served in an "elite combat unit" of the IDF.
One of these elite units is Sayeret Matkal, in which Benjamin Netanyahu was a unit team leader.
Yuval Tal appears in this video, speaking about Payoneer and international payments by prepaid MasterCard debit card.
The Fox News clip of Tal speaking in July 2006 about the Israel - Lebanon war, in his capacity as a former IDF "special operations" soldier, was available on YouTube and Metacafe for three-and-a-half years.
The Google cache shows the video was still available at YouTube on February 7, 2010, after the January 19 murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. As of March 1, 2010, a Google search shows that the Metacafe video was cached by Google on February 24 (days earlier the cache showed the previous date of January 13). Bizarrely, the video is still sometimes viewable at the previous link, depending on the browser employed and other factors. Googling "special forces" "yuval tal" currently returns the Metacafe and YouTube videos in the first two results. The video has been made available below.
However, both original copies of the video clip have been pulled by the Israeli uploader: yanivche on YouTube and yanivch on Metacafe. These handles are clearly operated by Yaniv Chechik, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Payoneer - and business partner of Yuval Tal.
Chechik declares that Israel is "the only country for" him.
(Note: Chechik uses the same yanivch handle for the above link that he uses at Metacafe.)
From the above link, it may be seen that Silicon Valley-based Greylock Partners and Israel-based Carmel Ventures provided most of the funding for Payoneer. Carmel Ventures was founded in 2000 by Shlomo Dovrat and Avi Zeevi, and is headquartered in Herzliya, the suburb north of Tel Aviv which also happens to be the location of the Mossad's headquarters. Herzliya is also the venue for Israel's annual national security conference. The Herzliya conference was established and is chaired by Uzi Arad, who was in the Mossad for more than two decades. Shlomo Dovrat served in an "elite technology unit" within the IDF: the Unit 8200 technology intel of the Israeli Defense Forces Intelligence Corps, responsible for collecting signal intelligence and code decryption, and regarded as comparable to the United States' NSA. Greylock's Israel team is based in Herzliya Pituach, on the coast two or three miles to the west of Herzliya.
Israeli firm Comverse's product, the Logger, was based on Unit 8200 technology. Comverse's wiretap programs are suspected of having a back door through which wiretaps can be intercepted by unauthorized parties. And Comverse was involved in an options backdating scandal. Its founder and former CEO Kobi Alexander, charged with multiple counts of fraud, fled to Namibia and was classified as a wanted fugitive by the FBI.
Yuval Tal and Yaniv Chechik are both named as the inventors on Patent Application 20080140564 which is described as "a system and a method for payment transfer, and in particular, to such a system and method which enables payments to be calculated and distributed to a plurality of users through a plurality of transfer methods". Such a system would certainly be useful to a Mossad hit team.
Tal and Chechik are both named on the WHOIS record for the Payoneer.us domain, with Chechik the technical contact.
At the Google cache for the Metacafe video, the video may still be viewed - but not with Firefox. It's okay with Internet Explorer or Flock. Disabling the Firefox download helper makes no difference, and it's still viewable with Explorer after installing a download helper for Explorer. However the Explorer download helper reports that no video is available for download, even though the video can be seen.
After selecting "edit video" on the cached Metacafe page, a message confirms that
the Tal video was deleted on February 25:
Warning: You are recreating a page that was previously deleted.
You should consider whether it is appropriate to continue editing this page. The deletion log for this page is provided here for convenience:
09:24, 25 February 2010 Wikicafe (Talk | contribs) deleted "195421" (Changed to "Removed by Submitter (391)" by user yanivch)
Warning: You are not logged in. Your IP address will be recorded in this page's edit history.
Some Israelis mixed up in the Dubai killing are innocent, e.g. the dual citizens who had their passports copied and fraudulently used. Yuval Tal could be innocent, but he is former Israeli special forces, he isn't protesting his innocence (and doesn't have an alibi) like some of the identity theft victims, and the videos were quickly pulled by his business partner Yaniv Chechik when the Dubai hit - Yuval Tal connection was exposed by the Dubai police and subsequently reported by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
The Times story of February 24 covered the trail from Dubai to Metabank and Payoneer, Inc.
Dubai police claim the hit team used credit cards obtained with the fake passports to pay for plane tickets and Dubai hotels, including preliminary scouting missions as early as March 2009.
Police say all but four were MasterCard cards issued by Meta Financial Group Inc., a lender based in Storm Lake, Iowa, that operates under the name MetaBank.
A MetaBank spokeswoman, ShaRee Schnitker, declined to comment because the bank is ''trying to confirm the accuracy of statements by the press.''
Dubai police tied MetaBank to another American company, Payoneer Inc., which provides prepaid MasterCards issued by MetaBank and other lenders. The role of the privately held company, which is based in New York and has a research and development center in Tel Aviv, was not immediately clear.
''We are aware of the news reports,'' Mary Kae Marinac, a spokeswoman for Payoneer, said in an emailed statement. ''We are cooperating with the bank and the authorities to explore the matter.''
The company's chief executive, Yuval Tal, appeared as a commentator on the Lebanon war in 2006 on Fox News, identifying himself as a former Israeli special-forces soldier. Mr. Tal wasn't available to comment.
The following day, the video of Tal was pulled from Metacafe (and probably YouTube around the same time) by Tal's business partner Chechik. This would be rather strange behavior for someone with nothing to hide. People are not normally shy about their military experience. Similarly, Israel's refusal to confirm or deny its role in the Dubai killing is hardly the act of an innocent party.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Tal, when reached by telephone on Thursday February 25, said the company (Payoneer) was "very surprised" that it was mentioned in the Dubai police report. However, he did not comment about his Israeli military experience.
Australia suspects three Australian-Israeli dual citizens of spying for Israel in recent years, using Australian passports to visit countries hostile to Israel.
The Dubai murder team used the hard-to-trace muscle relaxant succinylcholine to sedate Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh before suffocating him, so there would be no signs of a struggle and it would look more like a natural death. Succinylcholine, used by intelligence agencies, is suspected of having been used in the 2003 murder of Dr. David Kelly, officially ruled as a "suicide". A registered disabled woman with a reputation as a fantasist is claimed to have produced a letter "confessing" to being an "MI6 officer" who killed Kelly using succinylcholine, and is alleged to have produced some 500 fake documents including a detailed post-mortem result. Liars and fantasists are very useful to the intelligence services as they serve to discredit legitimate research and evidence.
Payoneer VP of Business Development Marni Mandell is the former CEO of The Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE), which in partnership with the Jewish National Fund's (JNF) "Israel Advocacy and Education Department" was described as being capable of fulfilling the "mandated task" set forth by the World Zionist Organization "to provide Zionist education in the Diaspora". Mandell was the North American director of OTZMA at the United Jewish Communities, and was involved with Taglit-Birthright Israel and programs to bring American Jews to Israel as volunteers.
Given Israel's non-denial, previous form, and other facts such as the suspects' need to access Israeli dual citizens' European passports to copy personal details, there are no other credible suspects for the Dubai killing. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal would have felt that there was little to lose by publishing the Yuval Tal connection to Dubai, and at the same time they would boost the Mossad's long-standing reputation as ruthless, even though its operations do not always go to plan.