Most people involved in killing in Israel, says Dubai top cop

DUBAI: Most of the 26 people so far linked to the murder of a top Hamas commander are to be found in Israel, Dubai police chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan charged in comments published today.

Khalfan also again pointed the finger at Meir Dagan, the head of Israel’s secret service Mossad which is widely suspected of carrying out the Cold War-style hit on Mahmud al-Mabhuh in his Dubai hotel room on January 20. Dubai police have published details of 26 suspects together with passport photographs and said yesterday they have DNA proof of the identity at least one of the killers.

“What is sure right now is that the majority of the murderers whose names have been announced ... are to be found in Israel,” Khalfan said in comments published in Arabic-language Al-Khaleej daily.

“Dagan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will head the list (of an international arrest warrant) if it is proven that Mossad is behind the murder,” the police chief said.

Khalfan was quoted in the government daily Emarat Al-Yom as calling on the Mossad chief to come clean.

“Meir Dagan, the boss, should admit the crime ... or present a categorical denial that his service is implicated,” he said.

“But his current attitude shows he is afraid. Let him be a man, and tell the truth.”

Israel has sought to play down the row, saying there is no evidence of its involvement. It has rejected the calls for Dagan’s arrest as “baseless” and “absurd”.

The murder of Mabhuh, regarded by Israel as a key link in a weapons smuggling chain into the Gaza Strip that is controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas, has mounted international pressure on Israel. Twelve British, six Irish, four French, one German and three Australian passports were used by the suspects, according to Dubai police.

The revelation of stolen identities being used by suspected Israeli agents has caused a diplomatic outcry, with Australia threatening it would “not be silent on the matter.” Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said today his centre-left government had an “absolutely hard line” on defending the integrity of its passport system and took seriously allegations that suspected Mossad assassins had stolen Australian identities.