Dubai police on Wednesday afternoon revealed that fifteen more suspects have been connected to the mysterious assassination of Hamas terror chief Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a hotel in the emirate last month, and that three of the suspects later fled Dubai through Iran.

According to new intelligence cited by the Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya news networks, the suspects – among them five women – came to Dubai from six European countries and from Hong Kong. Three of them were found to possess Australian passports, while the remaining twelve possessed passports from the UK, Ireland and France.

“The extensive investigation has led to a total of 26 suspects so far involved in the crime,” read a Dubai government statement quoted by Al Arabiya. The statement also disclosed the names of all fifteen new suspects.

“Dubai Police has now identified another six suspects – a woman who used a British passport, a man and three women travelling on Irish passports, two men who used French passports, and three people with Australian passports, “ the statement reportedly read.

Three of the suspects - those holding Australian passports, one of them a woman - apparently fled Dubai following the assassination by boarding a ship to Iran.

The latest accusations by Dubai police raised the size of the alleged assassination team to at least 26 and further expanded the international web of the investigation — now stretching from the United State to Europe and Australia.



The police statement comes less than two weeks after Dubai authorities identified 11 suspects accused of using fraudulent European passports during a 19-hour operation to tail and kill Mahmoud al-Mabhouh on Jan. 19.

At least seven of the earlier suspects share names with people living in Israel, reinforcing widespread suspicion about Mossad involvement and bringing sharp complaints from European ambassadors about how the expertly altered passports were obtained.

The new suspects were part of the "logistical support and preparations" for the slaying in a luxury hotel room, said the statement. It backs up previous police claims that a reconnaissance team was dispatched to Dubai months before the killing.

The latest suspects included ten men and five women who police say traveled on a mix of passports that do not need prior visas for the United Arab Emirates and are not required to go through eye scans and provide other biometrics data taken from other nationalities.

Most of the suspects were also said to possess credit cards issued by the same US bank.

According to Al Jazeera, Dubai police have been piecing together the murder and the events preceding it using airport records and CCTV footage.

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