The US government lied about a request from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to probe the death of a Hamas military leader, according to a recently released US State Department cable from secrets outlet WikiLeaks.
Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was assassinated in a Dubai hotel in January 2010. Dubai officials have long suspected Israel intelligence agency Mossad was behind the killing and Israel has never denied responsibility.
A cable released on Friday showed that the UAE government made a formal request for the US to provide credit card information about the suspects in the killing.
“On the margins of a meeting with visiting Secretary Chu, on Feb 24 MFA Minister of State Gargash made a formal request to the Ambassador for assistance in providing cardholder details and related information for credit cards reportedly issued by a U.S. bank to several suspects in last month’s killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai,” the cable said.
“Ambassador requests expeditious handling of and reply to the UAEG request, which was also raised by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed in a February 23 meeting with Secretary Clinton in Washington.”
Cardholder information could have been a critical piece of evidence for Dubai authorities while the trail was hot.
Haaretz noted that the US denied reports last year that the request had been made.
“It has long been doubted that the United States would assist in an investigation that would embarrass Israel,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley observed. “If true, this is another dangerous example of politics trumping principle.”
“What happens when we need information from UAE in a future case in pursuing, for example, an Iranian conspiracy. Countries may find themselves similarly ill-disposed to assist the United States,” he wrote.
Last week, Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan predicted that a WikiLeaks release would confirm his charge that Mossad was behind the killing.
“The leaked document will prove the truth about Mossad’s involvement, but there are certain people that will still deny it even with the leaked documents,” Khalfan told the English-language Gulf News.
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