Tags: Australia | Hamas | hit | probe

Australia Joins Probe Into Dubai Hamas Hit

Monday, 12 Apr 2010 11:07 AM

SYDNEY — Australia's spy agencies are investigating the apparently fake passports linked to a Cold War-style hit in Dubai after a police probe failed to yield enough answers, the foreign minister said.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said he needed "further advice" about the case, in which Israel's Mossad spy agency stands accused, after receiving the initial report on Friday.

"It's clear from a preliminary assessment of that report that I need to get further advice and see further work and have further discussion with other agencies," Smith told the Nine Network TV station.

"I want to make sure that we get this right. I need further work done by our intelligence agencies and I'm going to get this right rather than rush it in any way," he added. "It's a very important issue."

Canberra has said all four Australian passport-holders linked to the January killing of Hamas operative Mahmud al-Mabhuh in a luxury Dubai hotel were victims of identity fraud.

Passports were also used from four European countries including Britain, which expelled an Israeli diplomat last month. Australia has summoned the Israeli ambassador and warned the countries' friendly ties were at risk.

Smith said both the Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) -- which probe threats to the country and gather information abroad, respectively -- were now investigating.

"Further work is required. Further consideration is required. When that is done, I'll let the government's decision about these matters be known publicly," he said.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Monday, 12 Apr 2010 11:07 AM
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