Dubai: Assassinated Hamas operative Mahmoud Al Mabhouh did not have a meeting with an Iranian official in Dubai, but did meet a Palestinian group, Gulf News has learned.
Al Mabhouh was assassinated in Dubai on January 19 at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel. A security source told Gulf News that the Gaza group had nothing to do with the killing.
Israeli media, citing Intelligence Online, a Paris-based journal dedicated to tracking intelligence activity worldwide, stated that "he [Al Mabhouh] attended a meeting at the Iranian consulate in downtown Dubai."
The security source denied this meeting, saying if he wanted "to meet Iranian officials then he could have do it some where else and not in Dubai. He met people from his own group."
The journal reported that the assassination squad consisted of a ten-member team including three women, as opposed to a previous claim that there were only seven members, including one woman. Asked to confirm the information in the Israeli media, the source said: "possibly". The operation has been widely attributed to Israel's Mossad intelligence service. The article stated that one of the female agents dressed herself in the uniform of a receptionist and then knocked at Al Mabhouh's door.
Gulf News had earlier reported that a person knocked on Al Mabhouh's hotel room and that the entire operation happened in his room, contrary to reports that he was electrocuted and dragged to his room.
Asked if any of the members of the assassination squad were holding passports from Arab countries, as claimed by Israeli media, the source refused to answer, saying details of the case will be released in a matter of days. No one in the UAE is currently under detention for the assassination, the source said. It is believed that one person was detained but was released later.
Dubai police has denied that it had intended to bury the body of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, a Hamas leader in Dubai. The police also added in a press release that they held the body of the deceased for one week to finish the investigation procedures, and then handed it over to Al Mabhouh's son who came to the UAE after the death of his father.
The police department also said it started the investigation process as soon as the murder was discovered and denied the interference of any party in the process or that it was subjected to pressure. The police press release denied allegations published on aljazeera.net and said that they were false, asking people running the website to be more precise in what they publish and to check their news source. The police also added that it would be better if the website acquired its news from official sources.