Update February 25 2010: Apparently there were also a few more people involved. Some used Australian passports.
Mounting diplomatic fury over the killing of a top Hamas commander in a Dubai hotel reached Australia on Thursday, with Israel’s ambassador summoned over the use of Australian passports by a suspected assassination squad.
Dubai authorities have now identified 26 people suspected of involvement in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, with three using forged Australian passports named among 15 new suspects, most of them Europeans.
“Any state that has been complicit in use or abuse of the Australian passport system, let alone for the conduct of an assassination, is treating Australia with contempt and there will therefore be action by the Australian government in response,” said Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, without elaborating.
Now they are looking at 26 perpetrators as opposed the the 11 previous suspects. Concern over fake passport use should be in the forefront as Mossad has a long history of such use of passports.
Finally some are now becoming aware of forged or stolen document use. I just have to wonder what took everyone so long to finally do something about it? This has been ongoing for years.
Photo from Press TV
Report: PM approved Dubai assassination in early January
February 23 2010
By Yossi Melman, Ofer Aderet, Liel Kyzer, Barak Ravid and Avi Issacharoff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized in early January the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, according to a report published in the Sunday Times.
Based on information obtained from “sources with knowledge of Mossad,” the paper reported that Netanyahu gave Mossad chief Meir Dagan the green light for the Dubai operation during a meeting at the Midrasha – the intelligence agency’s headquarters, in the northern suburbs of Tel Aviv.
The sources also said that the Mossad hit squad trained for the Dubai mission by secretly rehearsing in a Tel Aviv hotel.
Netanyahu reportedly told the Mossad agents, “The people of Israel count on you. Good luck.”
Meanwhile, Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim said that an internal Hamas source leaked information to Mabhouh’s assassins that led to his killing, Israel Radio reported.
Speaking to Persian newspaper Gulf News, Tamim said that the aide, whose identity was not revealed, was the only person who knew about Mabhouh’s visit to the emirate.
Meanwhile, Hamas on Saturday again blamed Israel again for the hit. At a press conference, Salah al-Bardawil, one of the group’s Gaza-based leaders, said he does not suspect that the Palestinian Authority was involved in the killing and that the entire affair was the responsibility of Mossad.
However, the Hamas official said the two Palestinians arrested in Dubai in connection with the killing are former officers in the Palestinian security services, and were employed by a firm owned by a senior member of rival Fatah.
The London-based newspaper Al-Hayat reported that this company is owned by Mohammed Dahlan, formerly a Fatah strongman in the Gaza Strip before its takeover by Hamas two and a half years ago.
Bardawil also said that Mabhouh had put himself at risk by booking his trip through the Internet and risked a security breach by telling his family in Gaza by telephone which hotel he would be staying at.
Also Saturday, the daily newspaper Al-Bayan reported that Dubai police had new evidence implicating the Mossad in Mabhouh’s assassination, which included credit-card payments and suspects’ phone records.
“Dubai police have information confirming that the suspects purchased travel tickets from companies in other countries with credit cards carrying the same names we have publicized [from the passports],” Al-Bayan quoted Dubai police chief Tamim as saying.
Police in Dubai said that some of the assassins involved in last month’s killing of a Hamas commander had entered the emirate carrying diplomatic passports.
Dubai Suspects Are Interpol’s Most Wanted
International Police Issues Red Notices for 11 Alleged Assassins; Dubai Authorities Finger Israel’s Mossad Spy Agency
February 18, 2010
Interpol has put 11 people suspected in the slaying of a Hamas militant leader in Dubai on its most-wanted list as Dubai police stepped up their accusations against Israel’s Mossad spy agency for the murder.
The international police agency said it has issued red notices, its highest-level alert, to its member countries worldwide for “11 internationally wanted individuals who have been charged by UAE-Dubai authorities with coordinating and committing the murder.”
Interpol says it was acting on the request of Dubai authorities and that it believes the suspects used false passports.
Interpol issued the notices – which include photographs – “to limit the ability of accused murderers from traveling freely using the same false passports.”
Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh’s body was found Jan. 20 in his hotel room.
Meanwhile, Dubai Police Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim was quoted as saying he was “99 percent, if not 100 percent” certain that Mossad was behind last month’s slaying of al-Mabhouh in a luxury hotel room in Dubai.
Israel insists there is no evidence that Mossad agents were involved.
The comments – which appeared on the Web site of UAE daily The National – came as international pressure mounted for Israel to answer questions about possible links to the killing.
The investigation also widened to the United States. Emirates authorities said the alleged killers used fraudulent passports to open credit cards accounts through U.S.-based banks, an official said.
“Our investigations reveal that Mossad is involved in the murder of al-Mabhouh,” Tamim was quoted as saying by The National, which is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.
He told another local paper, Dubai-based Gulf News, that: “All elements strongly indicate the involvement of the Mossad.”
Tamim and other Dubai police officials could not be immediately reached for further comment. Israel government spokesman Mark Regev also had no comment.
The international fallout from the murder in a Dubai hotel room showed no signs of easing, with Britain and Ireland summoning Israeli ambassadors Thursday for talks about the case following allegations that European passports were used by the alleged team of assassins.
A UAE official, who has close knowledge of the investigation, said at least 18 people – including two women – are now suspected in what Dubai police describe as a highly coordinated operation to kill al-Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas’ military wing.
Ten of the men and one woman were identified by Dubai police Monday as members of the group that traveled to Dubai on apparently fraudulent passports – six from Britain, three from Ireland and one each from Germany and France.
Britain has said it will investigate how some of the suspects came to have British passports – and how they might have been produced.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said one of the nation’s top diplomats, Peter Ricketts, “explained the concern we have for British passport holders in Israel” during the meeting with Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor.
“He made clear that we wanted to give Israel every opportunity to share with us what it knows about this incident, and we hope and expect that they will cooperate fully with the investigation,” he said, adding he would raise the issue with Israel’s foreign minister when they meet in Brussels in the coming days.
Prosor told journalists he was not able to add additional information to Britain’s request.
Israel’s ambassador to Ireland, Zion Evrony, said he had nothing useful to tell Ireland because he knew nothing confidential about the Dubai assassination.
Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin has said the three Irish passports did have valid numbers but were issued to people with different names than those made public by Dubai.
He said the Foreign Ministry had contacted two people with the same passport numbers and found they had not lost their passports or had any stolen. The assassins apparently had access to pre-2005 passports that lacked biometric information, Martin said.
Also linked to the slaying are two Palestinians in Dubai custody and five others, including one woman who was caught on video surveillance at the luxury hotel where al-Mabhouh’s body was found Jan. 20, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with standing policies.
February 17 2010
Dubai authorities have released extensive footage from surveillance cameras that allegedly shows the movements of a professional 11-person assassination team in the hours before and after a top Hamas leader was killed last month in a hotel room.
February 2 2010 Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, 49, a military official of the Islamic Resistance Movement, was found dead in his Dubai hotel room late last month. While the death appeared to be from natural causes, an autopsy revealed Mr. al-Mabhouh was killed, apparently by suffocation with a pillow after receiving electric shocks, perhaps from a taser.
Hamas has accused Israel of carrying out the killing, and Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan said that Mossad, Israel’s infamous spy and dirty tricks agency, was one suspect.
“I don’t exclude any party that has an interest in the assassination,” Mr. Khalfan said. “There were seven or more people holding passports from different European countries” in the group suspected of killing Mr. al-Mabhouh, he said.
This is not a new phenomenon as this has been done many times, among other assassinations and terrorist acts by Israel.
Mishal came to power largely as the result of a botched assassination attempt by seven Mossad agents in September 1997. Mossad used Canadian passports, some forged and some stolen from a Canadian embassy.
Update February 26 2010