Dubai assassins used five forged Irish passports

The secret service hit squad blamed for assassinating a Hamas commander were carrying a total of five Irish passports, it emerged tonight.

The secret service hit squad blamed for assassinating a Hamas commander were carrying a total of five Irish passports, it emerged tonight.

Dubai authorities have warned diplomats in Ireland two more identity papers were recovered after the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh by suspected Israeli agents.

Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland Dr Zion Evrony met senior government officials in Dublin over the controversial killing but insisted he knows nothing about it.

Dr Evrony also said he was under no obligation to address the international incident in public.

“I don’t know anything about the event – beyond that it is not customary to share the content of diplomatic meetings,” he said.

A Foreign Affairs spokesman confirmed two more Irish passports had been linked to the hit squad.

Officials have tracked down the first three people named on forged documents - Evan Dennings, Gail Folliard and Kevin Daveron – two of whom were due to travel this weekend.

The first three forged documents carried authentic passport numbers but the names did not match.

Officials were tonight attempting to establish if names and numbers were genuine and to track down the unsuspecting citizens.

Micháel Martin, Foreign Affairs Minister, said with Interpol on red alert for 11 suspected agents at least two Irish citizens would likely have been arrested as they attempted to fly over the next 48 hours.

“It is an extremely serious incident and event and puts the security of Irish citizens at risk, there is no question of that,” he said.

Mr Martin said he believed that the numbers had been randomly stolen.

The passports were among European identity papers revealed by police as blame for the assassination centred on agents from Israel’s Mossad secret service.

The minister said it was too early to discuss possible sanctions if Israel admits responsibility.

Mr Martin has discussed the international incident with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the secretary general David Cooney and the assistant secretary in charge of the passport office Ray Bassett provided details of the fake passports to Dr Evrony.

They asked the Israeli authorities to provide whatever information and assistance they could give on the matter.

A spokesman said: “It was stressed that regardless of who was responsible, the Government takes grave exception to the forgery and misuse of Irish passports, which could devalue the standing of the passports and potentially put at risk the safety of Irish citizens travelling abroad.

“The ambassador said he had no information on the matter and would relay the messages he had received to his authorities.”

The United Arab Emirates ambassador to Ireland Khalid Nasser Rashid Lootah also held a prearranged meeting with officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs. The use of false documents in the killing was discussed.

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