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Interpol expands search for Dubai killing suspects

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How Hamas leader was killed
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Interpol issues notices for 16 more suspects in killing of Hamas leader in Dubai hotel
  • It will help investigators hunt all 27 suspects in death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
  • Dubai police chief "100 percent" sure Israeli intel unit is behind Hamas slaying
  • Israel says only media reports link it to killing and there's no reason to blame Mossad

(CNN) -- Interpol announced Monday it is issuing notices to help search for another 16 suspects believed linked to the January killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai.

The organization will now help investigators in Dubai try to track down all 27 people suspected of links to the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel.

Information gathered by investigators in Dubai "bore out the international links and broad scope of the number of people involved, as well as the role of two 'teams' of individuals identified by the Dubai police as being linked," Interpol said.

The organization issued 16 additional "red notices," which are not international arrest warrants but are a way of alerting police forces around the world that the suspects are wanted by authorities in the United Arab Emirates.

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RELATED TOPICS
  • Israel
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  • Hamas
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Interpol had previously issued 11 of the notices covering "a smaller core group alleged to have carried out the killing," the organization said in a news release.

Interpol Secretary-General Ronald K. Noble said investigators have established "clear" links through passport records, video surveillance, DNA analysis, witness interviews and hotel, credit card, phone and transport records, according to the news release.

Two sources told CNN a week ago that the number of identified suspects was up to 27. Of them, 26 were carrying European or Australian passports, authorities have said. The sources -- an official familiar with the investigation and a police source -- did not say which nation issued the passport used by the 27th suspect.

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a founding member of Hamas' military wing, was found dead January 20 in his Dubai hotel room. Police believe he was slain the night before, allegedly by the secretive Israeli foreign intelligence unit Mossad.

Dubai's police chief told CNN last month that he is "100 percent sure" Mossad was responsible. "The Mossad needs to be ashamed of its actions," said Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim. "They sent 26, 27 persons to assassinate one man who was involved in the capturing and killing of two Israeli soldiers."

Hamas has said al-Mabhouh was behind the 1989 deaths of the Israeli soldiers.

Israel has a stated policy on security matters of neither confirming nor denying involvement. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, however, told Israel Army Radio earlier this month, "There is certainly no reason to think that the Mossad and not some other intelligence agency of another country operated there."

The total of 27 suspects does not include two Palestinians arrested in Jordan and returned to Dubai. Tamim said one is not believed to be directly involved in al-Mabhouh's death, but "he is wanted by one of the Palestinian factions in the Palestinian territories and he is sentenced to death and that's why we will extradite him." He declined to discuss anything about the other Palestinian.