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Home / Articles / News / World /  Dubai adds to list of suspects in Hamas leader's killing
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Wednesday, February 24,2010

Dubai adds to list of suspects in Hamas leader's killing

By McClatchy-Tribune News Service

BEIRUTAdam Korman loves to travel. According to Dubai police, an Australian passport holder by that name visited the United Arab Emirates city-state three times over the course of 10 months. The last time the muscular young man visited, police disclosed Wednesday, he allegedly joined 25 other European and Australian passport holders and a pair of Palestinians who made up the hit team that killed suspected Hamas weapons procurer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

But Adam Korman, an Israeli Australian dual national resident of Tel Aviv (and admitted travel buff), insists he has never been to Dubai. He alleged Wednesday that his name and passport number had been stolen to forge a fake identity.

"I have been frightened and shocked since receiving the news," the 34-year-old Tel Aviv resident told the Israeli news Web site Ynet, minutes after Dubai police revealed the latest set of details about the team allegedly behind the killing of al-Mabhouh. "It's irresponsible and a violation of human and individual rights to do such a thing."

Dubai police Wednesday added the names and pictures of 15 suspects in the alleged hit squad, bringing to 28 the number of individuals allegedly connected to the Jan. 19 death of al-Mabhouh in his Dubai hotel room. All of the new suspects had carried Western passports, officials said. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that 10 of the new names matched those of dual nationals living in Israel.

Last week Dubai accused the Israeli secret service Mossad of being behind the assassination after releasing the names, photos and surveillance video footage of 11 initial suspects, some of them Israeli nationals and all holding European passports.

Two other people, both Palestinians, are the only suspects in custody.

Israel has refused to confirm or deny its involvement in the killing, which it has praised. But no one has yet explained how the passports of Korman and others used by the suspected hit team were based on the travel documents of Israeli dual nationals.

The newly disclosed suspects include three who used Australian travel documents, tangling yet another nation in the case. Other suspects carried British, Irish, French or German passports, according to Dubai authorities.

The suspects allegedly used Austrian telephone services to communicate, and Dubai police say 14 of the suspects used American-issued credit cards to pay for hotels and flights.

European foreign ministers have already condemned the use of their travel documents in the caper and described the assassination itself as "profoundly disturbing."

Dubai authorities on Wednesday also released diagrams showing the 2009 and 2010 travel movements of those on the alleged hit team, revealing more tantalizing clues about their tradecraft.

The holder of the Korman identity, for example, visited Dubai in March 2009, departing four days later for Hong Kong.

He, along with a female holding an Australian passport in the name of Nicole Sandra McCabe, came again in August taking a boat from the United Arab Emirates across the Persian Gulf to Iran, perhaps visiting the free-trade island of Kish, which issues visas on arrival to all but Israeli citizens.

Two members of the alleged hit team, both holding British passports, visited Dubai in June, authorities say. Then, in November, nine arrived from Milan, Frankfurt and Zurich, staying for one to three nights, on travel documents from various countries.

At least 22 members of the team arrived on Jan. 18 or early Jan. 19 on various flights from Europe. All had left the emirate by Jan. 20, within hours of the assassination.

(c) 2010, Los Angeles Times.

Visit the Los Angeles Times on the Internet at http://www.latimes.com/

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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