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Middle east

Dubai wants Mossad chief arrested if behind Hamas murder plot


Video by Nicholas RUSHWORTH

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-19

Dubai's chief of police (pictured) has called for the head of Mossad to be arrested if the Israeli spy agency is found to be behind the killing of a senior Hamas member in the Gulf emirate last month.

AFP - The Dubai police chief said on Thursday he wants the head of Mossad to be arrested if the agency is behind the killing of a Hamas militant in the Gulf emirate, in an interview with Dubai TV.

"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 (Meir Dagan) because he would be a killer," Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan said in an interview aired Thursday evening.

Red Notices are "to seek the arrest or provisional arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition," according to the Interpol website.

Mahmud al-Mabhuh, one of the founders of Hamas's military wing, was found dead in his Dubai hotel room on January 20.

"I say Mossad now, after it was revealed that seven suspects have been living in Israel for years," Khalfan said.

He called sending such a "huge number" of assassins to kill one man as the "utmost cowardice and weakness," and said there are others implicated in the killing who have yet to be publicly named.

He did not elaborate, except to say that police had instructions from Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum, not to reveal anything until they were absolutely certain of it.

Referring to the Israeli secret service, he said "naturally, the side that carries out this kind of work in Israel is the Mossad, which sends killing squads and groups for intimidation. It is not Peace Now," a reference to an Israeli group that supports reconcilition with the Palestinians.

"If Israel considers itself to be a state of law, where is the law in this kind of behaviour?" he asked.

He said Mabhuh, who was reportedly on a trip to buy arms for Hamas, was transiting Dubai on his way to China, then Sudan, and did not meet anyone in Dubai.

Khalfan criticized Mabhuh's handling of security, saying he did not take "the most elementary" precautions.

Earlier on Thursday, Interpol issued Red Notices for 11 suspects in Mabhuh's killing.

Khalfan released this week the photos and names of the 11 European passport holders -- six from Britain, three from Ireland, one from Germany and one from France -- that he suspects of being members of the hit squad.

All the countries except Germany have said their passports had been forged.

In the interview Thursday, Khalfan called for the formation of an international police team made up of the UAE, Britain, Ireland, France and Germany.

Khalfan said the 11 suspects are wanted by the UAE because they committed a crime on its soil, and by the four European countries, as the suspects were using passports from those countries.

Britain, Ireland, France and Germany all called in Israeli envoys for talks at their foreign ministries on Mabhuh's killing Thursday.

Amid mounting diplomatic tension, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband urged the Israelis to cooperate "fully" in investigating the incident.

In Dublin, Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin announced "frank" talks with Israel's envoy -- usually diplomatic code for angry exchanges -- saying he regarded the use of false passports as "an extremely serious incident".

A French foreign ministry spokesman said Paris is "demanding explanations" from the Israeli embassy for the use of a false French passport.

And Germany demanded an explanation from Israel over the killing, in a meeting between a top foreign ministry official and the Israeli charge d'affaires in Berlin.

"Our investigations reveal that Mossad is involved in the murder of Mabhuh. It is 99 percent, if not 100 percent that Mossad is standing behind the murder," The National, an Abu Dhabi-based daily, quoted Khalfan as saying Thursday.

At its Lyon, France headquarters, Interpol said it had not issued a Red Notice for Dagan.

Dagan, 65, has kept mum over growing claims the storied espionage agency was behind the January assassination.

He has also ignored demands that he step down over the incident which put Israel in the hot seat.

Date created : 2010-02-19

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