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Interpol seeks 16 over Dubai assassination

Paris Interpol said yesterday it had issued an alert for 16 more suspects in connection with the January slaying of a Hamas commander in a Dubai hotel room.

The organisation says it issued red notices, its highest-level alert, for a 16-strong team accused of shadowing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh before his killing. It had already issued notices for 11 other suspects last month.

The alerts came at the request of authorities in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where al-Mabhouh was found dead in a luxury hotel room in January. His methodical stalking and killing has been widely blamed on Israel's Mossad spy agency. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

Dubai police had previously released information about all of Interpol's newly listed suspects, with the exception of one. Interpol listed his alias as Joshua Aaron Krycer. It did not give his age or nationality, but he appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s. His snapshot showed a dark-haired man with thick eyebrows grinning confidently at the camera.

The group of 16 is believed to have assisted another team, which Interpol described as a "smaller core group alleged to have carried out the killing" and whose members were already sought through Interpol notices.

According to the Dubai police probe, the "second team, the members of which are now also subject of red notices, is believed to have aided and abetted the first team by closely watching, following and reporting al-Mabhouh's movements from the moment he landed at Dubai airport until his murder on Jan. 19," Interpol said.

The suspects' nationalities were not listed, as those linked to the plot are believed to have used falsified passports from Europe or Australia. Many of them are linked to apparent identity theft.

The statement from Interpol said police in Dubai have agreed to enter evidence in the case — including DNA profiles — into Interpol's international databases.

The organization's secretary general, Ronald K. Noble, said sharing information internationally is "all the more important when the case reportedly involves multiple cross-border movements worldwide and the use of fraudulently altered passports by individuals using aliases."

Interpol also said it was to join a Dubai-based international task force probing the killing. Noble's statement described it as a "task force with Interpol and interested countries whose passports were fraudulently altered." It was not immediately clear which countries were taking part.

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