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Wednesday Feb. 17, 2010 9:36 PM (EST+7)
Serious crime squad heads UK inquiry into Dubai killing

Read more: Serious Organized Crimes Agency, SOCA, United Kingdom, Dubai assassination, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Hamas

RAMALLAH,  Jan. 17th (JMCC) - The United Kingdom announced Wednesday evening that the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) has taken the mantle for the investigation of the use of British passports in the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

The illegal misuse of the passports could have serious diplomatic ramifications between the UK and Israel, if the latter's intelligence agency, the Mossad, is indeed found to have perpetrated the killing.

SOCA, which was established in 2004, is an intelligence-based agency with law enforcement powers.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that he viewed the situation very seriously and committed his government to a full-scale investigation.

Soca, which was established in 2004 as an intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, says it is in touch with Dubai officials but has not yet contacted the Israelis because it does not currently have evidence linking the country to the crime.

“We’re not pointing a finger at anyone at the moment, we’re not going to jump the gun until we have the evidence, but obviously it’s pretty worrying if British passports have been used, said a Soca official according to the

Israel has publicly become the prime suspect in the assassination and has come under criticism internationally and inside its own country.  Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, says the government retains a policy of 'ambiguity' regarding actions taken by its intelligence services.

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