Dubai assassins used fake Irish and UK passports to kill Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
Members of a suspected hit squad blamed for the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai used fake British and Irish passports.
Police in Dubai released details yesterday of 11 people they believe were involved in killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, all of whom were travelling on European documents.
But the Foreign Office in London said the six British passports were “fraudulent”.
In addition, officials in Dublin said they had “issued no passports” in the names of the three people using Irish identities.
Dubai police chief Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said yesterday the hit squad was behind the murder of al-Mabhouh, a founder member of Hamas's military wing, in a hotel last month.
Hamas has pointed the finger at Israel, blaming Mossad — the country's secret service — for carrying out the hit. It has carried out covert assassinations in the past.
Lt Gen Tamim also released the names and photos of the alleged gang, along with their apparent nationalities, according to the passports.
Those travelling with UK documents were named as Michael Lawrence Barney, James Leonard Clarke, Jonathan Louis Graham, Paul John Keeley, Stephen Daniel Hodes and Melvyn Adam Mildiner.
The British Foreign Office said yesterday that passports had been issued in those names, but that the actual documents released by Dubai were fake. It raises the possibility that the suspects were using stolen British identities.
Officials in Dublin likewise stated that members of the group were not travelling with bona fide documents from the Republic.
The Irish Foreign Office said they had no record of passports being issued under the names released yesterday in Dubai — Gail Folliard, Evan Dennings and Kevin Daveron.
Al-Mabhouh died in his luxury hotel room near Dubai international airport on January 20. It is claimed he was suffocated.
Lt Gen Tamim did not go as far as directly blaming Israel, but said it was possible that “leaders of certain countries gave orders to their intelligence agents to kill” the Hamas man.
It is alleged that the hit squad flew into Dubai on separate planes and booked into different hotels wearing wigs and fake beards to disguise their appearances.
At least two of the alleged gang watched the Hamas commander check-in to the hotel and booked a nearby room, it was further claimed.
Around five hours after setting foot in the city-state, al-Mabhouh was ambushed and killed.