Police claim DNA link in killing

Sat, Feb 27, 2010, 00:00

DUBAI’S POLICE chief yesterday announced that his investigators have identified traces of DNA belonging to at least one of the suspects in the assassination of a senior Hamas operative who was found dead in the emirate last month.

“We have traces of DNA on the scene, belonging to the criminals,” Dahi Khalfan Tamim told Al-Arabiya, an Arabic-language TV channel. “We have fingerprints and DNA traces and we know what they look like [thanks] to cameras that have revealed the operation.”

Lieut Gen Tamim said he plans to establish an international inquiry team to pursue those suspected of carrying out the murder of Mahmoud al-Mahbouh, a senior Hamas official suspected by Israel of smuggling arms from Iran.

Earlier this week, Dubai police released the details of 15 more people they believe were involved in the assassination, bringing the total number of suspects to 26. Of those, six were travelling on fake Irish passports with numbers and expiry dates that matched genuine Irish passports. The total number of fraudulent passports used in the operation now stands at 12 British, six Irish, four French, three Australian and one German.

Lieut Gen Tamim said he expects Interpol will issue red notices against the 15 new suspects as early as next week.

The Garda is liaising with the police forces of the other countries implicated in the investigation as part of efforts to determine how Irish passports were cloned.

Lieut Gen Tamim said last week that he is “99 per cent” certain that Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad was responsible for the assassination. Israel has refused to confirm or deny involvement, but Israeli officials have said there is no hard evidence to link it to the killing. Israeli diplomats in Dublin, London, Paris and Berlin have been requested to provide any information which might explain the fraudulent use of passports.