Dubai Police identifies suspects in Hamas leader's murder

Dubai Police identifies suspects in Hamas leader`s murder Dubai: Dubai's police chief on Sunday said that the killers of a key Hamas commander have been identified and legal measures are being taken in collaboration with Interpol to apprehend them since they have left the Gulf emirate.

A statement from the Dubai government media office said the suspects, who carried European passports, killed Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas' military wing Ezz Al Deen Al Qassam Brigades, on January 20. "Mabhouh entered the UAE on January 19 at 3:15 pm from an Arab country. His body was found in the afternoon of January 20 in a Dubai hotel where he was staying," it said.

The police, however, refused to divulge further details. Hamas has accused Israel of assassinating Mabhouh and vowed revenge.

Meanwhile, a media report here quoted a police source as saying "the crime was most probably carried out by a (professional) criminal gang, which followed the victim around before entering the UAE."

It said "although the crime was committed professionally, they left behind sufficient evidence to trace them and arrest them soon."

As per the report, the first results of a joint investigation by Hamas and the UAE show he was killed by an electrical appliance that was held to his head.

Dubai Police Chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim said Al Mabhouh had travelled under a different name.

"If we had been told of his presence, we would have provided him with the necessary protection," he told the Al Arabiya satellite channel.

Tamim on Sunday met Palestinian Consul General in Dubai Hussein Abdul Khaliq and discussed the ongoing investigation over the murder of Mabhouh. The two officials discussed ways of cooperation between Dubai police and international authorities in connection with the murder.

Dahi assured the Palestinian official that the Dubai police will leave no stone unturned in tracking down suspects and said that they will not relent until the suspects are brought to book.

"We have learnt with experience that suspects at the end of the day get arrested no matter where they are," he said.

The funeral of 50-year-old Mabhouh, who lived in Syria and was in-charge of arms purchases for Hamas, was held in Damascus on Friday.

Over the years, a number of Hamas leaders have been killed in operations Israel calls "targeted killings."

Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was killed in an Israeli helicopter gunship attack in Gaza in 2004 and a month later, another Hamas leader in Gaza, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, was killed when two missiles hit his car.

In 1997, Israeli agents in a failed attempt tried to kill Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Amman by injecting him with poison.