'Arabs may have targeted Mabhouh'

Hamas man: Jordanian, Egyptian agents tracked terror chief before murder.

March 3, 2010 03:47
3 minute read.
A banner poster ofMahmoud al-Mabhouh

Mabhouh 311 AP. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)


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Following the assassination of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh on Jan. 19 in UAE's capital Dubai, sources from the group charged on Tuesday that certain Arab countries may have been complicit in the hit. Sources reportedly said that before the killing, Jordanian and Egyptian intelligence agencies had tracked Mabhouh.

The original report from Al-Quds Al-Arabi, cited by Reuters, quoted Damascus-based Hamas official Mahmoud Nassar, Mabhouh’s right-hand man, as saying that there was evidence that Mabhouh had been targeted by moderate Arab countries.

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Jordan and Egypt had helped the Mossad track Mabhouh, Nassar charged, because he previously handled sensitive information concerning the activities of Hamas as well as other Islamist operations. Nassar added that the killing may have been carried out by spies either from the Palestinian Authority or from an Arab intelligence service earlier than planned. The paper added that Nassar was in charge of Hamas’s ties with Iran.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi noted that Nasser had also worked reportedly closely with Mabhouh.

The National, an Abu Dhabi-based UAE English-language paper, reported on Tuesday that Dubai police had requested FBI assistance in investigating the assassination of Mabhouh.

It said that the US investigators will be charged with probing the ties between the suspects who have been named in the killing and their prepaid credit cards, most of which were issued by the same Iowa bank, MetaBank. The FBI has also been asked to find links between the alleged assassins and the Mossad.

According to the report, the FBI neither confirmed nor denied whether any such request had been made.

The National also noted a business link between Payoneer, the Paypal-esque company that issued the credit cards, and Greylock Partners, a US-based venture capital firm. Moshe Mor, one of Greylock’s founders, was reportedly an officer in the IDF’s Military Intelligence.

Additionally, in an interview with Hamas’s Al-Aksa radio station from Damascus, Nassar confirmed Israeli allegations that his boss had supplied weapons to Palestinian terrorists.

Mabhouh “never stopped thinking about how to fight the occupation by supplying quality weapons to the Palestinian fighters,” Nassar said. “He participated with me in searching for weapons.”

Mabhouh and Nassar fled Gaza in 1990, after capturing and killing two IDF soldiers, Pvt. Ilan Sa’adon and Sgt. Avi Sasportas, in separate incidents the previous year.

Nassar described Mabhouh’s celebration after one of the murders, as he stood by the soldier’s corpse.

“Aboul Abed [Mabhouh] stood on the last body and raised his hands to the sky and said, ‘Praise God who honored me with capturing and killing him,’” Nassar said.

Dubai police have identified 26 suspects they claim traveled on faked European and Australian passports – in addition to two Palestinians already detained in the investigation.

Media reports said authorities had added a “27th suspect,” but there were no other details given. On Monday, authorities said they were seeking a third Palestinian.

Dubai police say 26 suspects used fake British, Irish, French and Australian passports of real people.

Australia said on Tuesday that its police and passport officials will meet in Israel with dual Australian-Israeli nationals whose Australian passports were used in Mabhouh’s slaying.

A spokeswoman for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra did not provide details of when its team would arrive in Israel.

The team that assassinated Mabhouh is thought to have used the passport information of three Australians who also have Israeli citizenship.   

AP contributed to this report.

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