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.
Among the suspects are holders of six British documents, three Irish, three French and three Australian.
The information has revealed the first Australian connection to the assassination.
Travel to Iran
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.
— With additional inputs from agencies