Dubai: The assassins of senior Hamas commander Mahmoud Al Mabhouh used a drug called succinylcholine to sedate him before suffocating him with a pillow.
Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Deputy Commandant of Dubai Police, told a press conference on Sunday that succinylcholine, also known as suxamethoniumchloride, was injected, traces of which were found on his leg.
"There were injection marks on his leg. Forensic tests proved that the compound was used to tranquillise him because he was a big man, who would have been difficult to overpower and subdue. The results of the tests were available after a month," Major-General Al Mazeina said.
The drug was used to give the impression that Al Mabhouh had died a natural death and had not been assassinated. There were no signs of resistance by Al Mabhouh — something that proved that he was not electrocuted.
Al Mazeina denied a media report that there had been a previous assassination attempt on Al Mabhouh in Dubai.
Until Sunday, 26 suspects, all carrying the passports of four European countries and Australia, had been identified by Dubai Police.
Click here to know how the suspects are connected (pdf)
Lieutenant-General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police Chief, on Sunday told journalists that another European suspect had been identified. These 27 suspects carried European and Australian passports.
"Another Palestinian man too has been identified as a suspect. Hence, with the Palestinian, there are now 28 suspects," Dahi said.
Dahi stressed that those who claim their identities were stolen and used by the assassins were not necessarily victims in this operation.
"They could be potential collaborators," he said.
The police chief clarified that there would be no change in visa rules involving Europeans coming into the country. Europeans get visas on arrival.
"European countries and Australia have close cooperation with the UAE," he said.
"The fault is not in the visa system but some exploit it. So why should all Europeans suffer for what Mossad is doing? Unfortunately, the Israeli government, throughout history, has created animosity and builds distrust," the Dubai Police Chief added.
Dahi said that immigration officers would undergo intensive training to study Jewish people and identify their traits, accents, body language and manners.
He said this was because most Jews have dual nationality and carry the passports of other countries.
Dahi said Mossad was exploiting this and said sophisticated equipment should be installed at all entry points to identify forged passports.
"Earlier immigration officials would not suspect that a European passport was forged because of the security features in the passport. However, today we are seeing a different story. Mossad is forging European passports and we need to be equipped to detect the fraud," he said.
Asked why the assassins did not use US passports, Dahi said America is a very close ally of Israel and had the killers used American passports, it would have caused friction between the two nations. The European countries implicated in this operation are not close allies of Israel.
"We hope that we will be able to arrest the suspects if they are in European countries based on the understanding we have with them on the exchange of information and with the help of the Interpol," he said.
"I met the general secretary of the Interpol [yesterday] and am confident of their assistance. Even if the suspects are in Israel, Interpol will work on getting them here," Dahi said.
He denied reports that the UAE was under pressure from Qatar to describe the killing as a natural death and hush it up.