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The United Arab Emirates is concerned over Germany's release of an alleged Israeli agent suspected of links to the January killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai, the foreign ministry said.

 

Abdurahim al-Awadhi, assistant to the foreign minister for legal affairs, expressed "concern that (Uri) Brodsky has been released on bail and granted the freedom to return to Israel while the case against him continues," in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency.

 

A German court released on bail the alleged Israeli agent suspected of links to the killing of Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a leader of the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

 

The UAE’s foreign ministry "sought clarification (…) from the German government on the Brodsky case," according to the statement. Awadhi said that his country "seeks assurances that Brodsky is in no way connected to the murder of Mahmud al-Mabhuh."

 

"As this may relate to a serious crime committed in Dubai, the UAE expects full and close cooperation from the German authorities and will continue to pursue the matter through diplomatic channels," the foreign ministry said.

 

Polish authorities arrested Brodsky in June at Warsaw airport before extraditing him to Germany on suspicion of illegally obtaining a German passport under the name Michael Bodenheimer that was later found to have been used by a member of the hit squad which killed Mabhuh.

 

The squad which Dubai police believe was from Israel's spy agency Mossad was found to have used 26 doctored foreign passports, sparking a diplomatic rumpus not only with Germany but also with Australia, Britain, France and Ireland.

 

Israel has said there is no evidence linking it to the assassination.

 

August 14, 2010

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk

 

The UAE was under intense local and Arab pressure over the assassination of Mabhuh in January, not least from Hamas. Political Capital has then raised the possibility that the country could become a stage for international espionage with regular killings and even an increased risk for terrorist activity. The quick action by the Dubai Police was just enough to spare the UAE of being accused of conspiring in the murder of Mabhuh and the international response was in fact vital to ensuring the country did not become a stage for killings and counter-killings.

 

The German decision to release the only arrested suspect is very embarrassing to the UAE authorities. It effectively portrays the country as not being effective enough in addressing the assassination and will likely increase the likelihood of Hamas and other groups of attempting to take the law into their hands if they see this route not working. If Brodsky is not tried and convicted, or no other convict founds, the UAE will be faced with an increased risk of attacks and counter-attacks.