Text size

Interpol added the 11 suspected assassins allegedly responsible for last month's Dubai assassination of a Hamas strongman to their most wanted list, Haaretz learned on Thursday.

The individuals who were charged by Dubai police as responsible for the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh were tagged with "Red Notices," according to the Interpol's official website.

The website also specifies that Interpol chose to publish the photos of the suspected assassins since the identities the perpetrators allegedly used were fake, using fraudulent passports to aid them in accomplishing their aim.

Also Thursday, the Dubai police chief ahi Khalfan Tamim said Interpol should issue a warrant to help locate and arrest the head of Israel's spy agency Mossad if the organization was responsible for the killing of a Hamas militant in Dubai.

In comments to be aired later on Dubai TV, Khalfan Tamim called for Interpol to issue "a red notice against the head of Mossad ... as a killer in case Mossad if proved to be behind the crime, which is likely now."

Earlier, an article published in an Emirati newspaper reported that Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim said he is 99 percent sure Israel was involved in Mabhouh's January killing.

"Our investigations reveal that Mossad is involved in the murder of al-Mabhouh. It is 99 percent, if not 100 percent, that Mossad is standing behind the murder," Tamim told The National newspaper.

Haaretz earlier Thursday learned the identities of two Palestinians arrested in Jordan in connection with the January 20 killing at a Dubai hotel.

Ahmad Hasnin, a Palestinian intelligence operative, and Anwar Shekhaiber, an employee of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, were arrested in the Jordanian capital Amman.

Jordan on Tuesday confirmed it had extradited the two to Dubai.

The two were residents of the Gaza Strip until Hamas seized control there in 2007, a Hamas source told Haaretz.

Both moved to Dubai, where they were employed by a real estate company belonging to a senior official of Fatah, the political faction headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

A third man, a Hamas security operative, is under arrest in Syria on suspicion of having assisted the hit squad, the British daily The Guardian reported late Wednesday.

Palestinian sources in the Gulf said Nahro Massoud was in detention and under interrogation in Damascus, the Guardian reported.

Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal has denied the allegation, according to the report, saying "It is not correct at all".

But Palestinian sources insisted Massoud was being questioned amid speculation that potentially senior Palestinian defectors may have been involved in the plot.

Dubai to hand retina scans to Interpol'

Dubai police said Wednesday investigators had successfully recreated a detailed picture of the operation. The official Web site of the Dubai police featured the suspects' pictures and personal information in an effort to locate the assailants.

According to Palestinian news agency Ma'an, Dubai police said Wednesday that they hold retinal scans of the suspected assassins, which they plan to publish through international police intelligence service Interpol.

Airport officials carried out routine retinal scans on 11 suspects sought by Dubai when they entered the country in the days before the hit. An unnamed Dubai official said on Thursday that the investigation has now widened, with police seeking a further seven members of the assassination team - making 18 in all.

Dubai police also identified Austria as the "command center" for the assassins, after mobile phone data showed at least seven numbers originating there, the Guardian reported.

Dubai police speculated members of the group communicated using "encrypted" messages, and that contact was maintained via several Austrian mobile phone Sim cards.

Austria has confirmed its officials are investigating the claims.