BBC News | Monday, 24 May 2010 | 6:32 GMT
Australia has expelled an Israeli diplomat after a probe revealed Israel was behind the forging of four Australian passports linked to the murder of a Hamas operative in Dubai. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told parliament that Israel’s conduct was "not the actions of a friend". Britain took similar action in March, concluding there was strong evidence that Israel was responsible for the use of doctored UK passports in the plot. The Hamas man was killed in January.
‘Sorrow not anger’
At least four fabricated Australian passports were used in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. The originals belonged to Australians living in Israel, and the Australian government has decided that the Israeli government was responsible. Following an investigation by the Australian Federal Police, which visited Israel as part of its inquiries, the government was left in no doubt that Israel was behind what it called "the abuse and counterfeiting of the passports". As a result, Mr Smith has asked Israel to withdraw a diplomat.
TOI | AFP | Mar 9, 2010 | 06.26pm IST
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on Tuesday said a fourth Australian passport-holder had been drawn into the murder of a Hamas leader in Dubai, after Interpol issued an alert for a suspect using the man’s name. A team of Australian Federal Police and Australian Passport Office officials are already in Israel to investigate the use of three fake Australian passports in the January death of Mahmud al-Mabhuh. Smith said that a fourth Australian passport, in the name of Joshua Krycer, had also been linked to the alleged assassination.
"Inquiries by the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Passport Office indicate the further passport presented in Dubai was fraudulently duplicated, as was the case with the initial three passports," Smith said. "There is no information to suggest that Mr. Krycer, as with any of the other three Australian passport holders, was involved in any way, other than as victims of identity fraud," he said in a statement. Mabhuh,
BBC News | Sunday, 28 February 2010 | 13:36 GMT
A Hamas commander who was killed in his Dubai hotel room was drugged and then suffocated, according to results of forensic tests released by police. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh’s killers used a quick-acting muscle relaxant to help make the death seem “natural”, a senior Dubai police officer said. Israel’s secret service has been widely blamed for the killing. However Israel has said there is no evidence it was behind the death on 20 January. It has accused Mabhouh of smuggling arms into Gaza and killing two Israeli soldiers.
“The killers used the drug succinylcholine to sedate Mabhouh before they suffocated him,” Maj Gen Khamis Mattar al-Mazeina, deputy commander of Dubai’s police, said. “The assassins used this method so that it would seem that his death was natural,” AFP news agency quoted him as saying. The agency said succinylcholine is favoured by anaesthetists and emergency doctors because of its rapid onset. Some previous reports on Mabhouh’s death have suggested he was electrocuted and suffocated. Continue reading
BBC News | 13:13 GMT | Thursday, 25 February 2010
Australia has summoned the Israeli ambassador to explain why three new suspects over the Dubai killing of a Hamas leader used Australian passports. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Canberra would “not be silent on the matter”. Dubai police think Israeli agents were involved in Mahmoud al-Mabhouh’s death but Israel says there is no proof. The police say they have identified 15 more suspects – using British, French, Irish and Australian documents – taking the total to 26.
‘No minor matter’
Mr. Rudd said Canberra would retaliate against any country found to be involved in forging its passports. He said that Australia would first try to establish the facts, but that this was not “a minor matter”. “It is not something you just push to one side. It is of the deepest concern,” he added. According to a preliminary investigation by the Australian federal police, the three – two men and one woman – have been victims of identity fraud. One passport is alleged to have belonged to Adam Marcus Korman, a 34-year-old Australian living in Tel Aviv, where he sells musical instruments. “I am shocked, it’s identity theft – simply unbelievable,” he told Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, adding that although he had travelled all over the world, he had never visited Dubai or any of the other emirates in the UAE. Continue reading
BBC NEWS | 2010/02/22 | 17:55:07 GMT
EU foreign ministers in Brussels have “strongly condemned” the use of forged European passports in the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. The statement made no direct reference to Israel, whose secret services are widely accused of having carried out last month’s killing in Dubai. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met some foreign ministers on the sidelines of the meeting. Mr. Lieberman has reiterated there is “no proof” of Israel’s involvement. “There is no proof Israel is involved in this affair, and if somebody had presented any proof, aside from press stories, we would have reacted,” Mr. Lieberman said in a statement from his office. “But since there are no concrete elements, there is no need to react.”
His comments followed the EU statement which said: “The killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai raises issues which are profoundly disturbing. We strongly condemn the use of fraudulent EU member states’ passports and credit cards acquired through the theft of EU citizens’ identities.” French President Nicolas Sarkozy also “unreservedly condemned” the assassination during a press conference with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, news agency AFP said. Mr. Mabhouh was killed in Dubai by a team who had entered the country on assumed identities belonging to British, Irish, French and German citizens. Continue reading
AP | Feb. 19, 2010 | 3:02 pm ET
Hamas claimed Friday that two ex-officers from the rival Fatah organization were involved in the assassination of a Hamas operative in Dubai, and Fatah shot back by insinuating Hamas members were the ones who collaborated with the killers. The slaying of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a luxury Dubai hotel room last month has widely been blamed on Israel’s Mossad spy agency but it also has sparked bitter recriminations among the rival Palestinian factions, which have long competed for influence in the Palestinian territories. Dubai police unveiled 11 suspects — 10 men and one woman — who apparently traveled to Dubai on European passports with real names and authentic data, but possibly altered photos. Dubai also said police had two Palestinians in custody for alleged involvement in the murder of al-Mabhouh, whose body was found on Jan. 20. The two were arrested in Jordan shortly after the killing, then sent back to Dubai.
A Hamas Web site, the Palestine Information Center, said those two men were former Fatah security officers and current employees of a senior Fatah official, who was not identified. Dubai authorities have not identified the two Palestinians and would not comment Friday. Hamas stopped short of accusing Fatah of collaborating with the Mossad, however. Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’ leadership in Damascus, told The Associated Press on Friday that Hamas is “not accusing any party” other than Israel, though he said the agents might have used “small Continue reading
Reuters | msnbc | 3:10 a.m. ET | Feb. 20, 2010
New evidence incriminating Israel’s spy agency in the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai includes credit card payments and phone calls made by suspects, an Arabic-language daily reported on Saturday. Police have already said the 11 suspects used forged passports in the names of innocent individuals of several European nationalities. “Dubai police have information confirming that the suspects purchased travel tickets from companies in other countries with credit cards carrying the same names we have publicized (in the passports),” Al Bayan daily on Saturday quoted Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim as saying. It did not give further details.
Palestinian Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was found dead in his room in a luxury Dubai hotel on January 20, a day after arriving in the emirate. Dubai police have released photographs of the 11 suspects. The international criminal police organization Interpol said on Thursday it had issued “red notices” for their arrest in any of its 188 member countries. Dubai’s police chief said on Thursday he believed Israeli agents were responsible for killing al-Mabhouh, a senior member of the Islamist group which rules Gaza, and called for the Mossad spy agency’s chief to be arrested if its responsibility was proved. Britain offered on Friday new passports to six British citizens whose identities were used by the suspects and all of whom live in Israel, to protect them from inadvertent arrest through Interpol. Other suspects identified by Dubai used cloned passports from Ireland, France and Germany.
BBC NEWS | 2010/02/19 | 09:37:40 GMT
Dubai’s police chief has called for the head of Mossad to be arrested if Israel’s spy agency was behind the killing of a Hamas boss in the emirate. Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan said Interpol should issue a “red notice” to approve the arrest of Meir Dagan. Israel shrugged off the calls, saying the Dubai police chief had provided no incriminating proof. Mahmud al-Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas’s military wing, was found dead in a Dubai hotel on 20 January. Several fake European passports – including six from the UK – are thought to have been used by his 11 suspected killers. The UK government denies it had any prior knowledge of the fake British passports being used; although Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said it was “entirely possible” the government had been alerted. And a British newspaper claimed on Friday the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and the government had received a tip-off from Israel.
Red notice call
Lt Gen Khalfan has said he was “99% certain” Israel was involved in the assassination. In a televised interview on Thursday, said: “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 because he would be a killer.” The international police agency – Interpol – which has issued arrest notices for all 11 suspects although it admitted their true Continue reading
BBC | Thursday, 18 February 2010 | 07:55 GMT
The British government has called in the Israeli ambassador to discuss the use of fake UK passports by the alleged killers of a Hamas commander in Dubai. Gordon Brown has also ordered an inquiry into the passports, which bear the names of six British-Israelis who are not the men pictured. Dubai police believe 11 “agents with European passports” killed Palestinian militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January. Israel said there was no evidence to link its secret service. Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, refused to issue any formal denial in line with a “policy of ambiguity” on security matters. He told Israeli Army Radio: “There is no reason to think that it was the Israeli Mossad and not some other intelligence service or country up to some mischief.”
It is expected that the Israeli Ambassador, Ron Prosor, will meet Sir Peter Ricketts, head of the diplomatic service, on Thursday. Israel’s ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, Zion Evroni, said he had received a summons from the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and would be meeting Minister Michael Martin. Sir Menzies Campbell, former Liberal Democrat leader and member of the Commons foreign affairs committee, said the ambassador had to be questioned. “The one institution that does know whether Mossad was involved in this matter is the Israeli government and I expect that the senior civil servant in the Foreign Office will say ‘well, now’s your chance to tell us one way or another’,” he told BBC’s Newsnight. Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn has called for Mr. Prosor to be expelled from the UK if he cannot provide “adequate assurances”. Continue reading
BBC NEWS | 2010/02/17 | 22:28:54 GMT
Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said there is no proof the Mossad spy agency carried out the killing of a Hamas commander in Dubai. But he did not fully deny that Israel carried out the killing, citing its “policy of ambiguity” on such matters. Dubai believes 11 “agents with European passports” killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Seven foreign-born Israelis named as suspects say their identities were stolen and they were not involved. UK passports used were said to be fake. France, Germany and the Irish Republic also said they believed the passports from their countries used by the alleged killers were false. Britain has summoned the Israeli ambassador to the Foreign Office on Thursday, to discuss the use of fraudulent British passports by the alleged assassins.
‘Israel never confirms’
Hamas has accused Israeli agents of murdering their operative – a view shared by many commentators because Mossad has in the past used forged foreign passports in its operations. But in Israel’s first official comments on the affair, Mr. Lieberman said there was no reason to blame Israel and Mossad. “I don’t know why we are assuming that Israel, or the Mossad, used those passports,” he told Army Radio. “There is no reason to think that it was the Israeli Mossad, and not some other intelligence service or country up to some mischief.” He did not outright deny Israeli involvement. “Israel never responds, never confirms and never denies,” he said. “There is no reason for Israel to change this policy.” Continue reading