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Tue 16 Feb 2010 07:33 AM

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Dubai issues warrants in Hamas chief killing

UPDATE 3: French passport used in Dubai killing was forged, Hamas claims.

Dubai issues warrants in Hamas chief killing
VIDEO FOOTAGE: Surveillance cameras show two of the suspects identified by Dubai police as having links to the killing of a Hamas commander in Dubai.

Dubai’s public prosecution has issued international arrest warrants for the suspected killers of Hamas leader Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, newswire Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Earlier, the emirate's police chief had said that Dubai would issue arrest warrants for 11 Europeans identified by the police; he did not rule out Israeli involvement. [

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“The United Arab Emirates has international judicial cooperation with most of the world’s countries, allowing it to seek their extradition wherever they may be captured,” Attorney General Essam Essa Al Humaidan wrote in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.

Hamas military official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was found dead in a luxury Dubai hotel last month, and the Palestinian Islamist militant group has accused Israel of being behind the killing.

Israel has refused to comment but a security source there has said Mabhouh played a key role in smuggling Iranian-funded arms to militants in the Gaza Strip and Israel's media have been unanimous in linking Mabhouh to the Gaza arms supply.

The 11 identified suspects include British, Irish, German and French passport holders, police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim told reporters. A government source said six other people, not yet identified, were also suspected of involvement.

A leading suspect, who carried a French passport, had left Dubai for Munich via Qatar, Tamim added.

"We do not rule out (the Israeli intelligence agency) Mossad, but when we arrest those suspects we will know who masterminded it. (We have not) issued arrest warrants yet, but will do soon," Tamim said, adding that one suspect was a woman.

"Israel carries out a lot of assassinations in many countries, even in countries that it is allied to," Tamim said, adding that Mabhouh may have been killed by electrocution.

Mossad is widely believed to have stepped up covert missions against Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, and Iran's nuclear project. Among killings attributed to Mossad were that of Hezbollah commander Imad Moughniyeh in Damascus two years ago.

Mabhouh, who was born in the Gaza Strip but had lived in Syria since 1989, was killed a day after he arrived in Dubai. A Hamas official and Israel said Mabhouh had masterminded the abduction and killing of two Israeli soldiers during a Palestinian uprising in the 1980s.

Tamim said two Palestinians suspected of providing logistical support in Mabhouh's killing were in custody. Al Arabiya television said they had been handed over by Jordan.

Tamim said the 11 identified suspects had rented a hotel room opposite Mabhouh's around the time of his death. All were believed to have left Dubai.

A police statement said the killers had adopted disguises including wigs and hats, used an electronic device to enter Mabhouh's hotel room and lay in wait for him.

The French passport used by the suspect was forged, Ayman Taha, a Gaza-based spokesman for Hamas said, Al- Arabiya television reported, according to a newswire Bloomberg report. Taha said the French Foreign Ministry contacted Hamas and said the passport was not genuine, the report added.

Mabhouh's killing was the third high profile murder in less than two years in the United Arab Emirates. Violent crime is rare in Dubai, part of the UAE and a regional trading and tourism hub.

"The United Arab Emirates does not accept that its territory be used as an arena for settling scores, whatever their nature or cause or whatever the affiliation of those involved," the police chief said in a statement. "The Emirates is a country of justice and rule of law."

A Lebanese pop star, Suzanne Tamim, was stabbed to death at her luxury apartment in Dubai in 2008. A billionaire Egyptian businessman and politician was later sentenced to death in Cairo for hiring a hit man to kill Tamim, reported to be his lover.

Last year, former Chechen military commander Sulim Yamadayev was gunned down in an underground car park of a luxury seaside apartment block in Dubai.

Like most Arab countries, the UAE has no diplomatic ties with the Jewish state and Israelis are routinely denied entry.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

Stewart 10 years ago

Is it not a bit presumptuous to send arrest warrants to 11 suspects due to them appearing on CCTV footage.

abumishari 10 years ago

We are talking about a big terrorist act againest a very important key person in the area. If this action was aginest someone less important than him let us say Tony Blair, we would have 1000 arrest already taking place.

Peter 10 years ago

1) "The Emirates is a country of justice and rule of law" ? 2) "Israel carries out a lot of assassinations in many countries, even in countries that it is allied to," ?

Ahmed 10 years ago

The same way it's equally presumptuous to assume the police don't have more incriminating evidence.

Abdulwahed 10 years ago

the 11 suspects will be in custody very soon, and it is obviouse that they were involved thanks to all survailence camera's. i think every nationalities that come to UAE should go through several process and interview before getting a visa to the countries spacially all european citizens were most of them even travel with no VISA

No name 10 years ago

The Israeli newspapers mentioned today that seven of the suspects were indentified as Mossad agents who used their native Europian passports. It is a big blunder by the Mossad to take Dubai police for granted... they assumed we are still in the seventies of last century. They still think that they are above the law and the world is their play ground. Hats up for Dubai Police.............. Good work. I hope they follow up on the arrests.

Peter 10 years ago

Sounds like it is the Dubai customs etc. that need to be check thoroughly on their ability to check visas.... An true, it is obvious that they (might be) involved due to CCTV. However, if you believe in the law and in modern and fair justice please note that you are innocent until proven guilty.

No name 10 years ago

However Dubai police have the right to issue arrest warrents based on the evidence they have in hand. Suspects should be handed over for questioning and if proven innocent they would be cleared. This guy did not kill him self, someone did! and no one should be above the law.

Wildwine 10 years ago

This was probably a professional hit squad. They have entered the country on fake passports, got their prey and left the country! I don't think they will ever be caught!!

Joe Bloggs 10 years ago

Why does the Al Bustan Rotana have so many CCTV cameras? Why are they needed?