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Calls, internet use made Hamas leader easy to track, says group

Arab World Materials 20 February 2010 22:07 (UTC +04:00)
The Hamas commander killed in Dubai last month probably made himself easier to track down because he telephoned his family about his travel plans and made those plans online, a senior member of the organization said Saturday.
Calls, internet use made Hamas leader easy to track, says group

The Hamas commander killed in Dubai last month probably made himself easier to track down because he telephoned his family about his travel plans and made those plans online, a senior member of the organization said Saturday.

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh called his family and other colleagues in Hamas in Gaza about his trip to Dubai and booked his hotel room via the internet, senior Hamas leader Salah al-Bardaweel told a news conference in Gaza.

Al-Mabhouh, a senior commander in the Islamic movement that rules the Gaza Strip, was found dead into a room in a hotel in Dubai on January 20. Hamas has accused the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad of killing al-Mabhouh.

"Speaking to his family and his colleagues in Gaza on telephone and booking a room in the hotel in Dubai through the internet ... created a security weakness that made chasing him so easy," said al- Bardaweel.

The Hamas leader further said two members in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party - a rival to Hamas - helped 11 Mossad agents to carry out the assassination of al-Mabhouh.

However, he said that he doesn't accuse the Fatah movement for being behind the assassination, adding "it is the Israeli Mossad which recruited the two Fatah members to help in executing the assassination plan."

Al-Bardaweel called on European countries "to open serious investigation and arrest those who were behind the killing." Interpol has said that the killers were using European passports, believed to be forged versions of documents belonging to people whose identities were stolen.

Meanwhile, Mahmoud al-Zahar, another Gaza-based Hamas leader, accused Israel of trying to move its conflict with Hamas outside the Palestinian territories by killing al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

"Israel and the West are trying to move the battle abroad and we tell them that we are ready for it," said al-Zahar.

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