Dubai: The total number of suspects in the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai has more than doubled to 26, including three Australians, revealed Dubai Police, indicating that more suspects could surface in the future.
An additional 15 suspects have been identified in the assassination of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, according to information released by Dubai Police.
Two of the Australians had travelled to Iran by ship in the planning stages of the operation.
Their task in Dubai was to monitor the victim's movements at the airport and another hotel frequented by Mabhouh.
Dubai Police investigators have not ruled out the possibility of the involvement of others in the murder, stressing that the authorities are still conducting a wide search and reviewing other links.
According to Police, European governments have authenticated the passports used by all suspects.
Countries that have been assisting in this investigation have indicated to the Police that the passports were issued in an illegal and fraudulent manner, adding that the pictures on the travel documents did not correspond to those of the original owners.
The new list of suspects includes people who offered prior logistical support and preparations to facilitate the operation and others who played a central role.
Police have also released details of 17 credit cards used by the suspects and where they were issued.
Dubai Police chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim told reporters earlier that two Palestinian residents of Dubai "from Mabhouh's group" were being held by the Police.
Meanwhile, the governments of the UK and Ireland have confirmed that all of the newly revealed identities used in the operation were stolen from their citizens living in Israel, and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he expects "full Israeli cooperation" in the investigation.
It is very important to check every individual irrespective to what nationality and religion he belongs to. Dubai Police has done a wonderful job and I wish them all success to bring the culprits to justice.
Taha, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Added 11:23 February 25, 2010
If these suspects travelled with fake passports, how did they manage to leave any European country with these passports? Especially when most of the European passport holders enjoy the facility of visa on arrival at Dubai aiport, anyone being able to enter Dubai with a fake British passport is serious threat to the strong security system managed in Dubai!!!