DUBAI // Dubai Police will request details of the investigations carried out by western countries into the theft of their identities by the killers of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, the senior Hamas official assassinated in a hotel in Dubai in January. The call came as the Australian government yesterday confirmed it would send a team to Israel as part of an investigation into the apparent misuse of Australian passports by members of the assassination squad, the second country to do so.
Last week, officers from Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency, travelled to Israel to interview six dual British-Israeli nationals whose names were used by the assassins. Australian officials will investigate the apparent fraudulent use of passports in the names of three Australians residing in Israel Joshua Bruce, Adam Korman and Nicole McCabe. The Dubai Police Chief said yesterday he expected that the nations whose passports were used fraudulently by the hit team "will provide us with all the necessary information".
Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim said it would be "very difficult to catch the perpetrators" without co-operation from western countries. Gen Tamim also described the methods used by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service suspected in the killing, as "primitive". "The majority of those working in Mossad are still stuck in a 1970s mentality," he said, making reference to "basic disguises". Gen Tamim previously said a team of international investigators from Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Australia was being set up to look into the case.
Dr Mustafa Alani, a senior adviser on security and terrorism at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center, said it was unlikely that foreign investigations teams such as the one sent by Australia would make much headway. "There will be diplomatic protests, but I think it won't last for long," he said. "Israel knows how to get away with it." In Beirut, Nawaf Moussawi, a Hizbollah member of the Lebanese parliament, called on the government to be more cautious in allowing visitors with western passports into the country.
In an interview with Agence France-Presse, he said the manner in which the killers of al Mabhouh entered an Arab country without relations with Israel highlighted the need to treat every westerner visiting Lebanon as a potential spy. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org @Email:email@example.com * With additional reporting by Mitchell Prothero in Beirut