Report: 5 new suspects in Mabhouh killing
Dubai official tells Wall Street Journal new names bring to 32 number of people identified as wanted in senior Hamas man's death. International investigators probing whether one suspect is Zev Barkan, who is being sought by police in New Zealand in separate case
Officials in the United Arab Emirates have identified five new suspects in their probe of the January killing of senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a person familiar with the investigation told the Wall Street Journal.
The new names bring to 32 the number of people identified by Dubai police as wanted in their probe of the killing.
The person also said that international investigators believed a man identified earlier this year as a suspect could be sought by New Zealand in connection with passport fraud there. Separately, the person said international investigators were probing whether one suspect identified earlier was Zev Barkan, a man being sought by police in New Zealand in a separate case: .
In 2004, two Israeli citizens were sentenced by a New Zealand court to six-month jail terms for their role in attempting to fraudulently obtain a New Zealand passport. Barkan was sought by the police in connection with the case but fled the country and is believed to be still at large.
"Several agencies believe it is the same man," the person familiar with the investigation told the Wall Street Journal.
The 2004 case led to a diplomatic incident between New Zealand and Israel, after Wellington officials said Barkan had been an Israel government official who served in embassies in Vienna and Brussels.
About a year later, Israel apologized to New Zealand for the involvement of its citizens in the incident and the relations between the two countries were restored.
Dubai police commander Dahi Khalfan Tamim said early last month that the investigation had revealed that there were residents in Gulf who had worked for the Israeli Mossad agency.
"Elements in our society have been hired for Israeli goals," he said, refusing to elaborate.
The British secret intelligence service (MI6) suspects that airline staff working for the Mossad may have copied thousands of British passports, some of which were used in the assassination of Mabhouh in Dubai, the News of the World tabloid reported recently.
According to the report, British authorities are also concerned about security searches carried out on British officials attending a terrorism conference in Israel last September.