x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Police show footage of al Mabhouh suspects

Officers show dramatic video footage of 11 suspects wanted in connection with the murder of the Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel.

Passport photographs of the 11 suspects.
Passport photographs of the 11 suspects.

DUBAI // Police showed dramatic video footage yesterday of 11 suspects wanted in connection with the murder of Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel late last month. Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the Dubai police chief, said six of the suspects came from the United Kingdom, two men and a woman were from Ireland, and one each were from Germany and France.

He had previously said the death displayed the mark of Mossad, the Israeli security agency. Interpol notices will be issued to the suspects' countries of origin. A police official said six more suspects were being sought but had not yet been identified. A detailed video recording of the day of the murder was presented by Dubai Police yesterday, pinpointing the movements of those they believe were responsible.

Gen Tamim said two Palestinian nationals, both UAE residents, have already been arrested in connection with the murder. One of the men acted as a spotter for the hit squad, and another was in contact with the spotter. Mr al Mabhouh, 50, was found dead in his room at the Al Bustan Rotana in Al Garhoud on January 20, less than a day after arriving in the UAE. A founder of the Hamas military wing, the Ezzedeen al Qassam Brigades, he was wanted by the Israeli government for the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers in 1989.

The hit squad had tracked him from his arrival in the UAE, Gen Tamim said, and the 11 suspects stayed in various hotels across the city to distract police. Seen in camera footage dressed in tennis clothes and carrying tennis rackets, some of the suspects looked like ordinary tourists or businessmen. But with precision timing, police say they carried out one of the most high-profile assassinations of recent times.

Security sources said last night that the names of all the suspects were real and they had used genuine passports in several airports over the past few months. Some of the passports had been used to obtain credit cards overseas. Since the beginning of the investigation, authorities have declined to rule out Mossad's involvement in the killing. And while no direct link between the killers and Israel has been established, Mossad's involvement is considered a possibility.

wissa@thenational.ae