LYON, France (AFP) – International police agency Interpol issued arrest notices Monday for 16 further suspects wanted by Dubai for the assassination of a Hamas leader in his luxury hotel room.
Alongside the new alerts, Interpol also announced that it had joined a Dubai-based international police task force investigating the killing.
The announcement brought to 27 the total number of suspects on Interpol’s wanted list for the January 19 murder of Mahmud al-Mabhuh, which Dubai police allege was ordered by the Israeli secret service Mossad.
Mabhuh, a founder of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement’s military wing, had been drugged and suffocated, apparently by a group of people seen on hotel closed-circuit security cameras following him to his room.
Interpol’s “Red Notices” — which are not international arrest warrants but alert member states that Dubai would like the suspects to be arrested and extradited — made no mention of the alleged Israeli connection.
Instead it provided what it said were photographs and known aliases of 16 suspects, including six who were using British and three Australian passports, along with several whose nationalities were not given.
Interpol said the latest suspects’ aliases were: Mark Daniel Sklar, Gabriela Barney, Roy Allan Cannon, Stephen Keith Drake, Daniel Marc Schnur and Philip Carr, travelling on British passports.
Suspects travelling as Adam Marcus Korman, Nicola Sandra McCabe and Joshua Daniel Bruce had Australian passports, according to Interpol’s website.
Interpol gave no nationality for Chester Halvey, Anna Shauna Clasby, Ivy Brinton, David Bernard Lapierre, Melanie Heard, Joshua Aaron Krycer and Eric Rassineux. Dubai has said they carried German, Irish and French passports.
“Investigative information provided by the authorities in Dubai bore out the international links and broad scope of the number of people involved,” said the statement, issued from Interpol’s Lyon headquarters.
Dubai police have identified two 11- and 16-strong teams of foreign suspects they believe were connected to the killing of Mabhuh, a Hamas commander and arms buyer wanted by Israel for the alleged murder of two of its citizens.
Interpol said the newly listed suspects formed the second of the two teams, in addition to 11 for whom Interpol issued arrest alerts on February 18.
Three Palestinians have also reportedly been arrested in connection with the investigation.
“According to the Dubai police investigation, the first team consisted of a smaller core group alleged to have carried out the killing,” it said, referring to the 11 named last month.
The second “is believed to have aided and abetted the first team by closely watching, following and reporting Mabhuh’s movements from the moment he landed at Dubai airport until his murder,” it said.
Interpol said the suspects travelled using other people’s identities and several countries have summoned Israeli ambassadors to ask about the use of their passports, although none have yet directly accused Mossad.
“The case reportedly involves multiple cross-border movements worldwide and the use of fraudulently altered passports by individuals using aliases,” said Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble.
Noble said officers from Interpol’s Dubai bureau and Lyon-based command and coordination centre would work with authorities in the United Arab Emirates and in the countries whose passports were forged or misused.
Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan has also called for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad chief Meir Dagan, alleging they ordered agents with European and Australian passports to commit the murder.
Neither Interpol nor Israel has responded to this claim.
Most of the people named in connection with the case — many of them Israelis with dual European citizeship — were shocked to find themselves linked to it and appear to have been unwitting victims of identity theft.