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Cablegate: Hamas Commander Killed in Dubai Hotel

VZCZCXRO2451
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHAD #0047/01 0311304
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O R 311304Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0221
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0009

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 000047

SIPDIS
NOFORN
FOR NEA/ARP, NEA/IPA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/01/31
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PINR KPAL KWBG KCRM IS SY AE
SUBJECT: HAMAS COMMANDER KILLED IN DUBAI HOTEL

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Olson, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (U) On January 29, approximately 9:00 am local time Friday,
Reuters first reported the January 20 murder in a Dubai hotel of
senior Hamas member Mahmoud Abdul Raouf Mohammad Hassan (known as
Mahmoud Al Mabhouh). The brief wire story preceded the release of
an official statement from the Dubai government later in the day.
Al Mabhouh's remains were flown from Dubai to Syria on January 28.
He was buried January 29 in a refugee camp in Damascus, as Dubai
officials briefed local and international media on his murder.


2. (U) The initial Dubai government media office statement said Al
Mabhouh "entered the UAE on January 19 at 3:15 pm from an Arab
country. His body was found in the afternoon of January 20 in a
Dubai hotel where he was staying." Official statements on January
29 expressed confidence the killers would be arrested: "The ongoing
investigation will speed up and police will be presenting the
suspects to court for trial as soon as possible, in coordination
with Interpol. The suspects left the UAE before the deceased's
body was found in a Dubai hotel." (Note: The hotel was the Al
Bustan Rotana near Dubai International Airport. End Note.)


3. (U) On Al Jazeera television January 29, Dubai Chief of Police
Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said "I cannot rule out the possibility of
Mossad involvement in the assassination of Mabhouh." Tamim told
local journalists Dubai Police were "pursuing individual suspects,
not an organization" and that it was "still early to start pointing
fingers on who is behind the crime." Tamim also confirmed the
victim entered the UAE on a passport bearing his real name, after a
Hamas spokesman in Damascus told the media Al Mabhouh possessed
five passports but traveled frequently to Dubai using his actual
identity.


4. (U) Local media coverage on January 30 and 31 focused on
statements from Al Mabhouh's family members and Hamas officials in
Gaza and Syria, where he lived since 1989. Local and international
media reports noted he was the second foreign militant murdered in
Dubai in less than a year. Former Chechen commander Sulim
Yamadayev was shot and killed near an exclusive Dubai apartment
complex in late March 2009.


5. (S/NF) Ambassador happened to be at a social event with Foreign
Minister Abdullah bin Zayed's media advisor when the story broke,
and he drew the latter's attention to it. The media advisor
(protect) after making a few calls reported back that the UAE's
public posture was being discussed between Dubai Ruler Mohammed bin
Rashid and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. The two
options discussed were to say nothing at all, or to reveal more or
less the full extent of the UAE's investigations. (Comment:
Saying nothing would have been perceived as protecting the Israelis
and in the end, the UAE chose to tell all. The statement was
carefully drafted not to point any fingers, but the reference in
the document (see below) to a gang with western passports will be
read locally as referring to the Mossad. End Comment.)


6. (U)


Text of Official Statement


Dubai Police identify suspects in murder of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh


Jan 29, 2010 - 06:18

WAM Dubai, Jan 29th, 2010

WAM)--Dubai Government media office has announced that Dubai police
have identified suspects in the murder crime of Palestinian Hamas
member Mahmoud Abdul Raouf Hassan and that they would soon track
them down and refer to court in conjunction with International

ABU DHABI 00000047 002 OF 002


Police (Interpol).


The suspects were reported to have left the country before the
murder crime was reported. The deceased's body was later discovered
at a hotel in Dubai.


An official security source in Dubai said that the initial
investigations suggest that the murder was inflicted by experienced
criminal gang, who had been tracking down the movements of the
victim before entering the UAE. "Despite quick skill exhibited by
murderers, yet they left behind evidence at the scene of crime that
would help in tracking them down at earliest. Dubai police no
longer believe in ambiguous or unknown crime".


The source further disclosed that the investigations revealed that
the suspects hold European passports, adding that Dubai police
would embark in arrangements with Interpol to arrest the suspects
and bring them to books. "The evidence will speedily help competent
authorities to track down the suspects".


Known as Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, the deceased, a Palestinian, entered
into the UAE at 3.15PM, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010, from an Arab
country. His body was found the following day at afternoon on Jan.
20, 2010, at a hotel he resided at in Dubai.
OLSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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