Suspects in Dubai assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
Suspects in Dubai assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
Text size

A key suspect in the killing of a Hamas operative in Dubai has been arrested abroad but details of the capture are secret, according to Dubai's police chief.

"The arrest took place in a Western country about two months ago," Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim said in comments published Monday in The National newspaper.

After the Jan. 19 killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, one of the founders of the group's military wing, Dubai police requested international help in trying to track down suspects in the slaying.

Authorities in the Emirates say a hit squad involving more than 30 members - many of whom had traveled to Dubai on fraudulent passports and were captured on security cameras in the Gulf state - was responsible for the killing, which took place at an airport hotel.

Tamim has repeatedly accused Israel's Mossad spy agency of orchestrating the killing. Mossad has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

In Monday's comments, Tamim said the suspect is not believed to be European.

"The suspect who was arrested played a key role in the killing, but we were informed by the ambassador ... that they did not wish to release the information," Tamim told the Abu Dhabi government-owned daily.

It remained unclear if the suspect is still being held in the country of the arrest and if he has been charged with any crime.

Arrest requests and details of those wanted by Dubai police have been posted through Interpol.

In his published comments, Tamim urged investigators in the country where the arrest occurred to provide more information.

"I do not have an explanation for why they do not want to make it public," he said. "We want anyone who is dealing with this case to deal with it as a security case, and not to pay attention to any other consideration."

Tamim and other officials could not immediately be reached for further comment.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported that one of the key suspects in the killing of al-Mabhouh, Briton Christopher Lockwood, formerly carried the name of Yehuda Lustig – an IDF soldier reported as killed in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.


Monday's reported arrest was not the first in the case.

Authorities in the UAE detained two Palestinians in connection with the killing shortly after it became public. Both were arrested in Jordan, then sent back to Dubai. Few details of their alleged involvement has been made available.

An alleged Israeli spy known by the name Uri Brodsky was arrested June 4 in Warsaw on a European arrest warrant issued by Germany in connection with the killing. Poland agreed to extradite him, but he was later set free on bail by a German judge.

Brodsky, who is suspected of helping to issue a fake German passport to a member of the hit team, is free to travel wherever he wants while judicial proceedings against him in Germany continue. The Emirates has called on Germany to explain why Brodsky was let go.