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Malaysia police free Palestinian kidnapped by Mossad agents: Report

Computer programmer from Gaza was abducted in a 'snatch-and-grab' operation in Kuala Lumpur, says local media
The New Strait Times said the Palestinian man, who has not been named, was forced into a car in Kuala Lumpur on 28 September (AFP)

Malaysian police have freed a Palestinian man who had allegedly been kidnapped and interrogated by agents of Mossad, Israel's national intelligence agency, in Kuala Lumpur, according to reports in the New Straits Times and Al Jazeera Arabic.

The Malaysian newspaper said the Palestinian computer programmer, who is from Gaza and has not been named, was forced into a car in the capital on 28 September by Malaysian nationals who had been trained by Mossad.

The man was then taken to a chalet on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur where he was questioned over a video call on matters related to Hamas and its armed wing the Qassam Brigades, the newspaper said.

“A video call had been set up in front of the victim. On the line were two men, believed to be Israelis, whose opening line to him was: ‘You know why you are here,’” the daily said.

“For the next 24 hours, the victim was interrogated and beaten by the Malaysian operatives when his answers were not to the Israelis’ satisfaction.”

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“The Israelis wanted to know about his experience in computer application development, Hamas’ strength in developing software, members of the Al-Qassam Brigade that he knew and their strengths,” a source with knowledge of the case told the New Straits Times.

A second Palestinian man, who was there at the time of the abduction, was able to contact police who raided the chalet and freed the captive.

"The operatives who did the snatch-and-grab may have had a miscommunication with their Israeli handlers and several other Malaysians waiting at the chalet, because they bungled and let the other Palestinian get away... in fact, he would have been the more prized capture," a source with knowledge of the case told the newspaper.

'Mossad cell'

The two Palestinians have since left Malaysia, according to the report, and at least two Malaysian nationals are being held by police.

Palestinian engineer 'killed by Mossad' in Malaysia, says family
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A “well-informed Malaysian source” told Al Jazeera Arabic that an investigation had uncovered a “Mossad cell” in the country that was involved in spying on a number of sites, including airports, and seeking to penetrate “government electronic companies”.

The source said Mossad had used Malaysian nationals it trained in Europe to carry out the operation, according to Al Jazeera Arabic, which also cited Malaysian media as reporting that Mossad had recruited a cell of at least 11 Malaysians to track down Palestinian activists.

On 21 April 2018, Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, 35, a Palestinian engineer and member of Hamas, was shot dead outside a Kuala Lumpur mosque. 

The Malaysian government said that “foreign agents” were responsible for the killing, while Batsh's father said he suspected that Mossad was behind his son's murder. 

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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