Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Inquiry Grows in Dubai Assassination

Via NYTimes -

The Dubai police released the names of 15 more suspects on Wednesday in the killing of a senior Hamas operative in a Dubai hotel room last month, expanding the range of an investigation that has already fostered diplomatic tensions between several European countries and Israel, whose intelligence service is widely suspected of planning the assassination.

The new suspects carried Irish, British, French, and Australian passports, and bring the size of the assassination team to 26, including six women, Dubai police officials said in a written statement. The suspects’ roles included “preparations and helping to facilitate” the Jan. 19 killing of the Hamas official, Mahmoud al Mabhouh, the statement said.


The Dubai police statement issued on Wednesday included one striking detail: two of the new suspects, identified as Nicole Sandra McCabe and Adam Marcus Korman and carrying Australian passports, left Dubai on a ship bound for Iran. All the others traveled by plane to European and Asian countries, according to the statement. The statement included no further information about the two suspects or why they would have gone to Iran.

The police had stated previously that the suspects purchased credit cards issued by an American bank using their passports, and used them to buy plane tickets and other items related to the assassination. On Wednesday, the police statement identified the bank as MetaBank, and added that 14 of the suspects had bought and used credit cards issued by the bank.

All 26 suspects appear to have traveled on passports from countries that do not need prior visas to travel to the United Arab Emirates, and do not need to go through eye scans or provide other biometric data required of some nationalities. Emirati officials said earlier this week that they might revise their visa guidelines.

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