Dubai’s chief of police, Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, has been featured in this space before, and if you search for his name at the top of this blog, you’ll come away with several posts to which he’s linked, mainly in the case of the assassination of Chechen Sulim Yamadayev in Dubai on World Cup day last March 28. Most recently, Lt. Gen. Tamim made an appearance here in a Feb. 8 post on the assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al Mabhou, titled Is Israel behind the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai. A Washington Post blogger weighed in yesterday with a piece titled The Dubai police chief’s outlandish claims; two days ago, The Lede blog from the New York Times had a post titled Dubai police chief says he knows an Israeli when he sees one. And just like that, on Super Thursday today, the prelude to World Cup day, Dubai and its police chief are in the news because of two high-profile assassinations and the chief’s reactions to them.
The Washington Post blog covers both assassinations, but the blogger’s facts aren’t fully accurate and he’s constructed the post as a slant against the police chief. On his facts, he wrote this unsubstantiated statement about the Yamadayev assassination: “…the assassin left behind a golden gun belonging to Ramzan Kadyrov…”
Yes, a gold-plated revolver was left near the scene, but not even Lt. Gen. Tamim has gone so far as to say it belonged to Mr. Kadyrov, the Chechen president. Instead, Lt. Gen. Tamin has consistently hammered away at Mr. Kadyrov’s right-hand man and cousin, Adam Delimkhanov, and has attempted to extradite him, has placed him on an Interpol wanted list, and has implicated him by Dubai police testimony in the ongoing case, which has been covered in this blog.
The Washington Post blogger compares the Chechen assassination to the Hamas assassination and implies that the police chief has gone way over the top to muddy Israel in the Hamas assassination because of the Arab conflict with Israel, more so than what he did to Russia in the Yamadayev killing. That, however, is not the case, and I know because I have researched and covered the Chechen assassination and was actually shocked at the level of public mudslinging between Chechnya (Mr. Delimkhanov) and Dubai (Lt. Gen. Tamim) in that case. In fact, I believe that Russia was embarrassed by Chechnya’s alleged role in the Yamadayev assassination, instead of being behind it. Mr. Yamadayev was a well-known opponent off Mr. Kadyrov and was probably the victim of a blood feud; a few of his brothers were assassinated as well.
What Lt. Gen. Tamim has said about Israeli involvement in the Hamas assassination is, in fact, very consistent with his handling of the Yamadayev assassination.
(Special thanks to @GoldenTent on Twitter for keeping me updated ;))