At least five Israelis 'share names with Dubai hit squad suspects'
Photo of 'Melvyn Adam Mildiner' released by Dubai does not match that of U.K.-born Israeli.
At least five Israelis share names with suspects named by Dubai police investigating the January assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh, Israel's Channel 2 news reported on Tuesday.
One of the Israelis, U.K.-born Melvyn Adam Mildiner, said he was "angry, upset and scared" over what he swears is a misidentification after Dubai police listed a British national with the same name as one of 11 Europeans suspected of killing Mabhouh in a luxury hotel in the Gulf emirate last month.
Two other British-born Israelis, Paul Kealy and Stephen Hodes, were also named by Dubai, as was another Israeli, Michael Bundheimer, an immigrant to Israel from the United States.
Reuters named a fifth suspect, Michael Lawrence Barney,while Israel's Channel 10 news reported on Tuesday that a further two Israelis shared names with the suspects, making seven in all - but was unable to name them.
Speaking in British-accented English, Mildiner, resident of a town near Jerusalem, told Reuters he had nothing to do with the assassination and had never been to Dubai.
"I woke up this morning to a world of fun," he said in a sarcastic tone, after Israeli newspapers splashed names and photos of the suspects distributed by Dubai.
"I am obviously angry, upset and scared -- any number of things. And I'm looking into what I can do to try to sort things out and clear my name," he said in a telephone interview.
"I don't know how this happened or who chose my name or why, but hopefully we'll find out soon."
A photo of "Melvyn Adam Mildiner" released by police in Dubai did not match a picture of the Israel-based Mildiner on his Twitter social networking page, though it had some similar features.
"It's not me. Which is one silver lining on this entire story because at least I can point to it and say, 'Look, that's not me. It's not the picture that I have in my passport, and it's not the picture that I have on my face that I walk around with every day', Mildiner said.
"I have my passport. It is in my house, along with the passports of everybody else in my family, and there's no Dubai stamps in it because I've never been to Dubai," he said.
Acknowledging that his name was uncommon, Mildiner said: "There's probably not many of us."
Earlier on Tueday , Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs said that the three Irish passport-holders accused of taking part in the assassination did not exist said on Tuesday.
The trio of alleged Irishmen identified Monday in Dubai as Gail Folliard, Evan Dennings and Kevin Daveron do not appear in Ireland's records of legitimate passport-holders, said the government, adding that the Irish passport numbers publicized by Dubai authorities also are counterfeits, because they have the wrong number of digits and contain no letters.
British government sources told the Daily Telegraph earlier Tuesday that the three Irish passport-holders were most likely Mossad agents carrying false documentation.
The Telegraph report came one day after Dubai Police Chief Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim announced that senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was murdered by an 11-member hit squad of mercenaries carrying European passports.
Dubai will soon issue arrest warrants for the 11 suspects. Tamim said Monday that he had still not ruled out Israeli involvement. While he did not accuse Israel directly, he did say it was possible that "leaders of certain countries gave orders to their intelligence agents."
"We do not rule out Mossad, but when we arrest those suspects we will know who masterminded it. [We have not] issued arrest warrants yet, but will do so soon," he told a press conference on Monday.
He told reporters that six members of the alleged assassination team held British passports, three held Irish passports, and one each from France and Germany. A leading suspect, who carried a French passport, left Dubai for Munich via Qatar after the killing, Tamim added.
Police released the suspects' photos, names, nationalities and details from their passports, which authorities said were not fake.
"Israel carries out a lot of assassinations in many countries, even in countries it is allied to," Tamim said, adding that Mabhouh may have been killed by electrocution.
The Jordanian government on Tuesday confirmed that it had extradited two Palestinians to the United Arab Emirates authorities in connection with the assassination.
" At Monday's news conference, Tamim revealed surveillance video of the alleged assassination team arriving on separate flights to Dubai the day before Mabhouh was found dead; the suspects also checked into separate hotels. They paid for all expenses in cash and used different mobile phone cards to avoid being traced, he added.
The killing itself took just 10 minutes, Tamim said. Several members of the hit squad followed the Hamas man - even riding with him in the same elevator to determine his room number - and then checked into the room across the hall. Four assassins later entered his room in the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel while he was out, using an electronic device to open the door, and waited for him to return, Tamim said.
Last week the Paris-based journal Intelligence Online reported that Dubai's secret service requested assistance from its counterparts in Egypt and Jordan, and from Interpol. Yet it seems unlikely that Egypt or Jordan could provide much help as both are hostile to Hamas.
The journal said Dubai's government had ordered that Hamas itself be kept out of the probe, but Hamas is conducting its own investigation, with help from Iran and Syria. Top Hamas figures have denied that Mabhouh was en route to Iran.