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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Three more 'Irish' named as assassins in Dubai plot

Security of citizens travelling abroad put at risk, says Cowen

Shane Phelan and Sam Smyth

THE faces of three more 'Irish' assassins alleged to have been involved in the murder of a Hamas commander in Dubai were revealed last night.

They were among 15 new suspects identified by police in the United Arab Emirates, bringing to 26 the number now believed to have been involved in the plot to kill Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

Authorities in Dubai said that six Irish passports were used by the assassins, alleged to be members of Israel's secret service, Mossad.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said that genuine passport numbers were used in all six cases. However, all of the other information on the passports was falsified and none of the six suspects are Irish. All of the passports dated from before 2005, the year biometric passports with increased security features were introduced.

The revelations came as Taoiseach Brian Cowen last night vowed that the Government would pursue the issue to the "greatest extent possible".

Mr Cowen said it had serious implications for the security of Irish citizens travelling abroad.

Pictures of the three new 'Irish' suspects, who used the names Ivy Brinton, Anna Shauna Clasby and Chester Halvey, were released by Dubai police yesterday.


Police there also revealed details of the flights taken in and out of Dubai by the alleged assassins.

Mr Halvey, Ms Brinton and Ms Clasby flew into Dubai from Zurich in January 18, the day before Mr al-Mabhouh's murder.

Ms Clasby flew back to Zurich in the hours after the killing, while Mr Halvey and Ms Brinton flew back to Zurich the following day. The other three suspects holding fake Irish passports used the names Gail Folliard, Evan Dennings and Kevin Daveron.

Mr Dennings also flew into Dubai from Zurich the day before the murder, before returning the morning after.

Ms Folliard and Mr Daveron flew into Dubai from Paris on the morning of the killing.

They both returned to Paris the following day. Both Mr Daveron and Ms Folliard gave addresses in Dublin when booking into the Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel.

Mr Daveron used an address on Elgin Road, Ballsbridge. The property is owned by a brother of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds. The address used by Ms Folliard was made up. The other new suspects revealed yesterday used British, French and Australian travel documents. The latest suspects include people who allegedly gave logistical support as well as those directly involved in the assassination team.

"The new list of suspects includes people who offered prior logistical support and preparations to facilitate the crime and others who played a central role," police in Dubai said. "Dubai Police investigators are not ruling out the possibility of involvement of other people in the murder."

Police have accused Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, of sending a hit squad using forged European passports to murder Mr al-Mabhouh.

Ten days ago, police released the names and photographs of 11 suspects they say took part in Mr al-Mabhouh's murder in a hotel, and a day later issued international arrest warrants.

Last Thursday, Dubai Police Chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim said that it was "99pc, if not 100pc [sure] that Mossad is standing behind the murder".

Gardai have launched an investigation into the use of Irish passport information and have been liaising with colleagues in Interpol and with police forces in the other countries affected. It is understood a senior officer may also be sent to Dubai to liaise with investigators there.

Until yesterday it had been thought only five Irish passports had been used and only three of the suspects using them had been named.

Ireland's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Ciaran Madden, was yesterday briefed by authorities in Dubai.

Last night Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin said: "We condemn without reservation the use of fake documents which I think generally now casts a shadow over the authentic documentation generally.

"This is a global issue now. It's a worldwide issue, not just a European issue."


Authorities in Dubai are convinced that the murder was the work of Mossad.

It is thought Mr al-Mabhouh was followed to his room by members of the hit squad, who were wearing fake beards, wigs and other disguises.

Security sources noted that the method used to kill him -- electrocuting him with a stun gun before smothering him with a pillow -- had allowed the assassins plenty of time to leave the country before the death was deemed suspicious.

"They (the Dubai authorities) didn't know he had been asphyxiated until a post-mortem had been conducted.

"The assassination team had left Dubai long before the authorities there even knew it was not a natural death," said a security source.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Israel's Ambassador to Ireland Dr Zion Evrony have both told the Government they have no information about the killing or the forged documents.

Irish Independent

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