Analysis: Assassins may regret taking on Dubai’s cops

Arab world’s best police force was first to use DNA testing.

Mabhouh coffin 311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Mabhouh coffin 311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
While the world media continues to point to the Mossad as the most likely contractor of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh’s murder, and Hamas threatens revenge, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai police chief, is sounding his own warnings.
“Anybody who tries to work behind our backs [in Dubai] must watch his back, and this applies to all intelligence agencies in the world, whether this [individual] is affiliated to Hamas or Mossad or any other intelligence agency,” Tamim told Dubai media on Thursday.
Tamim has become one of the central figures in this shady, tangled affair. He has been talking frequently to reporters, presenting new information day-by-day – maps, passport numbers and security camera footage of the suspects from airports, hotels and shopping centers.
Amid the media frenzy, the remarkable capabilities and efficiency of his Dubai police have been rightly noted. Ever since the January 20 hit, the authorities have managed two difficult tasks: controlling information and providing accurate and trustworthy accounts of the events.
The world heard of Mabhouh’s murder only when Dubai’s authorities decided to let it be known, and not a minute earlier. And Tamim has been on hand since with clear, coherent updates.
Many people – notably including those who sent the killers to room 230 in al-Bustan Rotana on January 20 – are doubtless wondering: how is Dubai doing it?
It fact, this is not the first time that Dubai has dealt with a high profile murder case that involves international assassins, hotel room activities and bizarre clues.
Less than a year ago, Sulim Yamadayev, a Chechen leader who was once a close aide to Chechen President Ramazan Kadyrov, was gunned down in the parking lot of the Jumeirah Beach Residence, the luxury Dubai apartment building where he resided, dying later in the hospital. A golden gun, which allegedly belonged to Kadyrov, was left at the crime scene. Dubai Police arrested two suspects in the case, but the main suspect, a Russian Duma deputy named Adam Delimkhanov, is still wanted in the UAE.
Last April, Dubai police declared the case solved and forwarded to Interpol a request to arrest Delimkhanov. Police chief Tamim called on Russia to “take responsibility in front of the world to control these killers from Chechnya.”
The Dubai Police was established with only 29 members back on June 1, 1956, in Naif Fort, which still operates as a police station. It is reputed to be the most forward-thinking and progressive Arab police forces today, at least according to the Gulf News, and its own website: “Comprising our ranks are 15,000 personnel of the highest educational standard of any organization... under the direction of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”
The force is reputed to have been the first in the Arab world to use DNA testing in criminal investigations, the first to use electronic finger printing, and the first to implement the concept of a paperless department.
It is also apparently not afraid to ask for guidance if it needs it. The latest update on its website reports that the “passports of the mercenaries” who killed Mabhouh were not fake. “Dubai immigration officers were trained by European security experts to spot such documents. This training qualifies immigration officers to spot fake passports. They applied these procedures at Dubai airport when the alleged [killers] entered the country,” he said. “No forgery was found in those passports.”
Many of the Dubai police personnel come from abroad, while others studied and trained in foreign countries, including Egypt.
Considering that almost every possible sphere of life in Dubai is heavily foreign-influenced – only 10 percent of the million-strong populace are local Emiratis – it is likely that its police has enjoyed the best possible training, guidance and help from foreign security bodies.
“Dubai is most interested to clear it’s name and reputation as a cityof crimes and assassinations, and it will surely do its utmost to solveMabhouh’s murder,” a local hotelier told The Jerusalem Post this week.Besides, now it’s also a matter of pride: Somebody dares to dosomething like this on Dubai’s territory? It’s not an easy thing to letgo.