Mahmoud al Mabhouh, a senior commander of Hamas who was assassinated in Dubai last month, breached security protocol and put his life at risk by talking about his trip over the telephone and making his hotel reservation over the internet, it was claimed yesterday. A Hamas official said al Mabhouh unwittingly led his attackers to him by openly planning his travels, actions that would make him easy to track down if he was already under surveillance.
Al Mabhouh was killed in his room at the Al Bustan Rotana on January 19, just hours after entering the country. "Al Mabhouh called his family by phone before he travelled to Dubai and told them of his plan to stay in a specific hotel, and he booked his travel through the internet," Salah Bardawil, a Hamas legislator, told a press conference in Gaza. "This undoubtedly created a security breach." The claims were denied by the family of al Mabhouh.
"I am the last one who received a call from Mahmoud," his brother, Fayek, told the Associated Press. "He didn't tell me that he was going to Dubai and he never told any of the family the details of his work or his movements." Last week, Dubai Police named 11 suspects in the case and released security film showing them at the hotel. Dubai's police chief was yesterday reported to have said that his force had evidence incriminating the Israeli security service, Mossad, in the killing, despite denials from Israel.
"Among the new evidence available to Dubai Police which incriminates the Israeli secret service, the Mossad, and confirms its involvement in the murder are telephone communications between the culprits who have been detected," Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim was reported to have told Al-Bayan newspaper. Ten of the suspects have been discovered to have travelled to Dubai on fake passports. Last night, German authorities said a passport issued to the remaining suspect, Michael Bodenheimer, was genuine, and they had launched an investigation.