- The New Straits Times reported that a Palestinian man was kidnapped in a “snatch and grab” operation in Kuala Lumpur.
Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency is believed to be behind the abduction of a Palestinian man who was abducted from a street in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and interrogated before being released by police, a Malaysian news organization reported.
Malaysia’s New Straits Times reported Tuesday that the Palestinian computer programmer was crammed into one of two waiting cars by four men involved in the “snatch and grab” operation on the night of Sept. 28.
The abducted man, who was not identified, was beaten while being driven to a house on the outskirts of the capital, where blindfolded and tied to a chair, he was interrogated by a video call on matters related to the Palestinian political organization Hamas and its armed wing, the Qassam Brigades.
“A video call had been set up in front of the victim. On the line were two men, believed to be Israelis, whose first line for him was, ‘You know why you are here,'” the news organization reported.
“Over the next 24 hours, the victim was interrogated and beaten by Malaysian agents when their answers were not satisfactory to Israelis,” the news organization added.
“The Israelis wanted to know about his experience in developing computer applications, Hamas’s strength in software development, the members of the Al-Qassam Brigade he knew and their strengths,” a source with knowledge of the case told the New Straits Times.
The source also said the team of kidnappers, identified as Malaysians, had “ruined” the operation, as they had let a second Palestinian man escape. Malaysian officers also did not cover their faces and did not place false license plates on their vehicles, the source said.
The second Palestinian, described as a “most precious capture,” was able to raise the alarm with police who traced the car’s license plates to a house where the kidnappers were arrested and the man released.
Both Palestinians have left Malaysia, according to the report.
A “well-informed Malaysian source” confirmed to Al Jazeera Arabic that an investigation had uncovered a “Mossad cell” in the country that was involved in spying on important sites, including airports, and seeking to penetrate “government electronic companies.”
The source said Mossad had employed Malaysian agents it trained in Europe to carry out the operation, according to Al Jazeera Arabic, which also quoted Malaysian media as reporting that Mossad had recruited a cell of at least 11 Malaysians focused on tracking Palestinian activists.
Mossad was previously linked to the 2018 murder in Malaysia of Palestinian academic Fadi al-Batsh, 35, who was shot dead on his way to morning prayers in Kuala Lumpur.
Al-Batsh’s relatives accused Mossad of being behind the murder.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, then Malaysia’s deputy prime minister, said at the time that the suspects were believed to be Europeans with ties to a foreign intelligence agency, according to state news agency Bernama.
Police said the two attackers had waited for al-Batsh, a Hamas member, in front of a residential building in Kuala Lumpur’s Setapak district for nearly 20 minutes, and fired at least 10 bullets, four of which killed him instantly.
Hamas also accused Mossad of assassinating al-Batsh. Israel dismissed the accusation.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
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