The United States was dragged in the row over the murder of a top Hamas leader in Dubai over reports that two assassins have fled into America, The New York Times reported Tuesday, March 2.
Citing a person familiar with investigations into the killing of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, the daily said one suspect traveling on a British passport arrived in the US on Feb. 14.
Another suspect with an Irish passport arrived on Jan. 21, he added.
The two suspects entered the US under the names Roy Allan Cannon and Evan Dennings, he said.
There are no records of either suspect leaving the US but they could have done so using other passports, the person told the Times.
The Israeli daily Haaretz on Friday identified the real Cannon as “a 62-year-old, ultra-Orthodox father of six” who moved to Israel in 1983.
Mabhouh was found dead in a luxury hotel room in Dubai last month, a killing that was largely blamed on Israel.
Dubai police have identified 27 suspects, using European passports, over the killing.
Dubai police have asked the FBI to investigate the US-issued pre-paid credit cards used by the suspects.
FBI agents will look into the source of the funds used in the January 19 assassination, according to The National.
Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan said Monday that Mabhouh’s killers are now hiding in Israel.
The murder has brought Israel under mounting pressures over the use of fake European passports, with Israeli ambassadors summoned in several European countries.
The killing has prompted the United Arab Emirates to ban the entry of Israeli nationals.
"UAE would deny entry to anyone suspected of having Israeli citizenship," Khalfan said.
The Dubai police chief said that Israelis can be easily identified in the Arab country.
"Israeli dual citizens could easily enter the country even if officials recognized them as Israelis from their accents and traits,” he said.
“But from now on they will be carefully scrutinized, regardless of what passport they hold.”
The UAE had previously allowed Israelis who held dual citizenship to enter the country using their other passport.
Many Israelis hold alternative nationality, allowing them to travel to countries without diplomatic relations with Israel. This applies for all Arab countries except Egypt and Jordan.
"We will not allow those who hold Israeli passports into the UAE no matter what other passport they have."
(IslamOnline.net and agencies)