Canada on Tuesday denied reports that a suspect in January's assassination of senior Hamas operative Ali Mahmoud Mabhouh was arrested in the country in January, according to the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.
A Canadian official called Dubai police chief Lt.-Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim's claim that Canada has secretly arrested someone involved in the assassination as "baseless." “We have nothing to say at this point,” said Sergeant Greg Cox, a spokesman for the RCMP.
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“We are trying to verify this information with our colleagues in Ottawa,” a senior source at the Canadian Embassy in the UAE told The Globe. “Tamim said we gave this info to the Dubai police, and we didn’t.”
“A senior Canadian security official here told me in July that they have made an arrest of one of the suspects,” Tamim told The Globe and Mail in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “The person informed me then that this information was not to be released in the media and was only for the police. Since then we have not heard any more information and I don’t understand the secrecy.”
According to Tamim, the suspect arrested was a member of the so-called
assassination team that was caught on video in Dubai’s Al-Bustan Rotana
hotel, where Mabhouh was killed in January. The suspect he claimed was
arrested by Canada is seen in video footage carrying tennis equipment
and stepping out of an elevator after Mabhouh.
Mabhouh was a co-founder of Hamas’s military wing, Izzadin Kassam, and
was the group’s senior operative in charge of smuggling weaponry from
Iran, Syria and Lebanon to the Gaza Strip.