4 suspects behind Mabhouh’s murder identified Filed on February 1, 2010

Police in Dubai have identified four suspects who allegedly killed senior Hamas commander Mahmoud Al Mabhouh in a hotel room here on January 20, and are working with Interpol to extradite them, a senior police official said .

The suspects allegedly fled to a European country after slaying Mabhouh.

According to the official, who asked not to be named, the four suspects who wore masks, tortured the Hamas commander with electric shocks to his legs before choking him to death with a pillow.

The official declined to give other details on the cause of death as the matter was under investigation. He said police were tracking down the criminals and working on leads gathered during the probe from sources and those collected from the scene of the crime.

Dubai Police chief Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan said police were closing in on the criminals and evidence pointed to a professional gang, most of who held European passports, and left the country before the body was discovered.

Khalfan met ambassador Hassan Abdul Qaliq, Palestine General Consul in Dubai. They reviewed the ongoing investigation into the murder of Al Mabhouh and discussed cooperation with local and international security officials on developments regarding the case. “Dubai Police will work day and night to chase and arrest the criminals and will arrest any wanted local or international criminals who break the laws,’’ he said.

Hamas officials have declined to say what Mabhouh, who had long lived in the Syrian capital Damascus, was doing in the Gulf — though a Hamas source said he was active in armed operations “until the moment of his assassination”.

He left Gaza in 1989, pursued by Israel for his role in the abduction and killing of two of its soldiers.

Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad is believed to have stepped up missions against Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and Iran’s nuclear project. Among killings attributed to the agency was that of Hezbollah commander Imad Moughniyeh in Damascus two years ago.

A former Mossad officer, Ram Yigra, suggested that Mabhouh may have fallen foul of criminal arms dealers rather than Israel.

“In the end of the day, Mr. Mabhouh was into arms smuggling, which means shady relationships,” he told Israel’s Army Radio.

Fayek Al Mabouh, the dead man’s brother, however, said the Hamas commander wasn’t involved with any gang or crime. “So who had an interest in killing him? Israel.”

(With inputs from AFP/Wam)

Amira Agarib

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