Mabhouh. 'Key element' in Hamas' arms supply
Photo: AFP

Report: Mabhouh's bodyguards couldn't get plane tickets

Persian Gulf media say assassinated Hamas commander was 'on a mission' in Dubai, where he arrived under his real identity and on his own

Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was "on a mission" in Dubai when he was assassinated 11 days ago, Persian Gulf media reported Sunday morning, quoting a senior organization sources in Damascus.


The sources confirmed that Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas' military wing, was a "key element" in the Palestinian group's arms supply.


According to the report, Mabhouh was not accompanied by security guards on his trip to Dubai, which was scheduled to last several days, although he usually had a regular team of bodyguards as a senior member of Hamas' military wing. The reason was technical: The guards could not get tickets for the same flight. And so during the assassination, al-Mabhouh was alone in his hotel room, without any bodyguards.


"He would take the bodyguards with him anywhere he went, but there was no room for them on the flight," said Talal Nasser, a spokesman for Hamas in Damascus. "Therefore he traveled alone, and the security guards were slated to join him the next day."


Despite previous reports, the Hamas man said Mabhouh visited the emirate under his real identity. "He had five passports, one with his real name and the rest with different names, but this time he traveled under his real identity," said Nasser. "He had traveled to Dubai many times in the past in the same way, without any problems."


Mabhouh's funeral in Damascus (Photo: AFP)


According to Nasser, "We don’t have all the details yet, but it's possible that he had used a cell phone which was being monitored to make a phone call about his plans. There are also airlines which send their passenger lists by fax, and this may have given the assassins an opportunity."


He added, "We are carefully checking our security plans for senior figures and looking into steps which should be taken in order to ensure that we are safe, as much as possible."


The Hamas leadership says Mabhouh was "poisoned and electrocuted". According to security officials in the United Arab Emirates, he was found dead by one of the employees at the Rotana Hotel, three days after arriving in Dubai. "The body had traces of burns and torture from electric shocks," one of the sources said.


The Khaleej Times newspaper reported that Mabhouh was apparently suffocated to death by a pillow attached to his face. According to additional information, four masked men entered his room several days before he was murdered. Mabhouh's brother, Faiq, said that a joint investigation launched by Hamas and Dubai had revealed that the assassination was carried out by two people.


The Dubai police declared Friday that the suspected assassins had been identified but had already fled the country. Claims raised by Hamas that Mabhouh was killed by Israeli agents who were part of National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau's entourage in Abu Dhabi were firmly denied by the minister.


פרסום ראשון: 01.31.10, 13:15
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