Page last updated at 09:37 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Dubai police chief in Mossad arrest call

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
Mr Mabhouh was murdered in a Dubai hotel room, police say

Dubai's police chief has called for the head of Mossad to be arrested if Israel's spy agency was behind the killing of a Hamas boss in the emirate.

Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan said Interpol should issue a "red notice" to approve the arrest of Meir Dagan.

Israel shrugged off the calls, saying the Dubai police chief had provided no incriminating proof.

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas's military wing, was found dead in a Dubai hotel on 20 January.

Several fake European passports - including six from the UK - are thought to have been used by his 11 suspected killers.

The UK government denies it had any prior knowledge of the fake British passports being used, although Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said it was "entirely possible" the government had been alerted.

And a British newspaper claimed on Friday the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and the government had received a tip-off from Israel.

Red notice call

Lt Gen Khalfan has said he was "99% certain" Israel was involved in the assassination.

In a televised interview on Thursday, said: "If the Mossad were proven to be behind the crime, which is most likely now, Interpol should issue a red notice for the head of the Mossad because he would be a killer."

If there was proof Israel had used British passports... relations between the UK and Israel would be in a crisis
Jeremy Bowen

The international police agency Interpol - which has issued arrest notices for all 11 suspects although it admitted their true identities were unclear - issues red notices to seek the arrest of wanted persons with a view to extraditing them.

An unnamed Israeli official denounced the red notice "threat" as "absurd".

"The accusations are baseless," the official told AFP news agency.

"Police have not explained the circumstances of [Mr Mabhouh's] death, or even any proof that he's been assassinated. All there is are videos of people talking on the telephone," he said.

Diplomatic tensions have been building between Britain and Israel after it emerged on Monday that six of the passports used by the 11 suspected assassins were British.

They were clones of passports belonging to men who have dual British and Israeli citizenship.

Three Irish passports were also used, along with a French and a German passport.

Dubai police are investigating US-issued credit card accounts used to purchase plane tickets, which they say the suspects obtained with the fraudulent passports, the New York Times quoted an unnamed official as saying.


Friday's Daily Mail quotes a British security source who claims the UK's intelligence service MI6 and the government were told of the operation.

A Foreign Office spokesman said it was "not correct" to state Britain knew in advance about the passports.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the use of the passports was "an outrage", and Israel's ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, was summoned to the foreign office on Thursday to discuss the issue.

Hamas killing

Police in Dubai are hunting 11 people they believe are behind the killing of a senior Hamas commander. The suspects are accused of using fake passports bearing their own pictures, but the names of innocent Europeans.
Six British-Israelis were among those whose identities were stolen. Three more suspects, including one woman, were travelling on false Irish passports. Two others had French and German papers.
One of the victims of the identity theft was British-Israeli Paul John Keeley (pictured right). The passport used by one of the suspected assassins bore his name, but featured a photograph of another man (pictured left).
Palestinian militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed in his hotel room in Dubai in January. Police claim one of the suspects, pictured on the left, went to a hotel to put on a disguise. He is seen leaving a toilet wearing a wig.
Surveillance cameras also recorded Mr Mabhouh, circled in red above, at the hotel's reception before his death. At the bottom of the image the head of one of the suspects can be seen. As Mr Mabhouh leaves, the suspect follows.
Mr Mabhouh is trailed into the lift by a number of the suspects, including two pictured here in tennis gear. Investigators believe he had been followed from Syria to Dubai where it is thought he wanted to buy weapons for Hamas.
When Mr Mabhouh leaves the lift, police allege two of the murder suspects can be seen following him down the corridor to establish which room he was staying in. He was found dead in his room on 20 January.
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The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen said if there was proof Israel had used British passports "for some nefarious uses of its Mossad service - as they have in the past with Canadian and New Zealand ones", then relations between the UK and Israel would be "in a crisis".

Reports have suggested the Hamas commander was in Dubai to buy weapons for the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas.

Two Palestinian suspects were being questioned about the murder. Police said the pair had fled to Jordan after the killing, but were extradited back to Dubai on Sunday.

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