Dubai Police Hunt Killers of Hamas Terrorist

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Law enforcement officials in Dubai are calling for an international manhunt. They want to track down a hit squad suspected of killing a Hamas terrorist leader in Jan., while he was staying in a Dubai hotel.

At the funeral last month for Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a founder of the Hamas military wing, supporters vowed to avenge his death.

But who is responsible?

Click play to watch the CBN News report followed by analysis by CBN News Senior Reporter George Thomas. 

Authorities in the Gulf Emirate of Dubai said the killers and their helpers carried European passports. They also said security videos captured scenes of the alleged hit squad checking into the hotels and even tracking the victim shortly before his death. He was found apparently suffocated just after the closed-circuit footage was shot.

Police said the 11 suspects all spent less than 24 hours in Dubai and wore different disguises, including hats, wigs and tennis gear.

Hamas was quick to blame Israel's intelligence service, Mossad, for the killing. Many analysts said they might be right.

"This individual not only is affiliated with Hamas, somebody who was a creator of the armed branch of Hamas back in the 1980s, but also somebody the Israelis claim is responsible for the death of two Israeli soldiers back in the 80s," said Alex Vatanka, editor of Janes Islamic Affairs Analyst. "So yes, I think to point a finger at Mossad does seem logical."

However, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Friday that some Hamas leaders believe an Arab state may have killed him. He made enemies in more than one part of the Middle East, including Egypt and Jordan.

The alleged killers apparently used fake or forged passports, and one British Israeli says his identity was stolen.

"If leaders of certain countries issued orders to their intelligence and security agents to kill, then that is a disgusting and unacceptable method of operation," said Dubai Chief of Police Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim.

But it is not an unusual one. The mystery of al-Mabhouh's death has yet to be solved, but he probably will not be the last terrorist leader to die under strange circumstances in a Middle Eastern capital.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.