Dubai: Dubai Police will issue arrest warrants for 11 suspects carrying European passports, believed to be the killers of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, the senior Hamas commander who was assassinated in a Dubai hotel room last month.
Two Palestinians have already been arrested and are being investigated on suspicions that they provided logistical support to the killers, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Chief of Dubai Police, said at a press conference held at the Media Office of the Dubai Government.
Some of the 11 suspects including a woman fled the country around the time of the crime on January 19. The Palestinians, however, are UAE residents, the police chief said.
Dubai Police managed to crack the case in less than 24 hours, Dahi said. "This is another achievement for Dubai Police."
A police video, combining CCTV footage from the Dubai airport, a number of hotels and shopping malls, showed the arrival of the suspects and Al Mabhouh into Dubai, their checking into various city hotels and the hours before the Palestinian commander was killed in room 230 in the Bustan Rotana Hotel, near the airport.
A surveillance team had followed the victim around the city. Some of the suspected killers disguised their appearance at various times.
"This is a highly sophisticated operation conducted by people who knew when Al Mabhouh would arrive in the country," Dahi said.
The suspects used "highly sophisticated communication instruments" and during their conversations they used encrypted messages, Dahi said. "The communication tools they used are not available in the UAE."
They came from several European countries and left to European destinations and one to Hong Kong. "We know where they are right now and even their residences," Dahi said.
"Arrest warrants through Interpol are being issued and if the European countries cooperated we will be highly appreciative but if they refused we will also reduce our cooperation with those authorities." He told Gulf News earlier that the UAE has no extradition treaties with many of those countries but the police expect full cooperation.
"In my personal opinion I think many parties are involved in the crime and all [Al Mabhouh's] enemies are potential suspects so it is not the time to point fingers at a certain party."
Dahi said the Hamas leader had arrived in Dubai from Damascus en route to Sudan and later to China. He was expected to be here for only one day.