Malaysia releases images of assassins of Palestinian lecturer

Kuala Lumpur—Malaysian police have released computer-generated photographs of two men suspected of gunning down a Palestinian in Kuala Lumpur, amid suspicions that Mossad was behind the assassination.

Fadi al-Batsh, an engineering lecturer, was gunned down early Saturday by two assailants who shot at least 14 bullets from a motorbike as he was heading to a mosque for dawn prayers in Kuala Lumpur. 

The photographs of the suspects are based on descriptions by witnesses, police chief Mohamad Fuzi Bin Harun told reporters on Monday.

They show two light-skinned suspects who may be European or Middle Eastern. Both men are about 180 cm with sturdy builds, the police chief said, adding alerts have been put out for them at all the country’s exit points. 

Both suspects are on a high-powered, dark-colored motorbike which could be a BMW or a Kawasaki. 

Hamas, a Palestinian resistance movement that administers the besieged Gaza Strip, has accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency of assassinating Batsh.

Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Sunday the killers were believed to be Europeans with links to a foreign intelligence agency. 

Ahmad Zahid said police would work with Interpol and Aseanapol to track down the duo immediately.

“We will provide information on the developments in the case from time to time,” he told reporters on Sunday. 

A preliminary investigation, he said, showed that the lecturer was to have left for Turkey Saturday afternoon to attend an international conference.

He said the lecturer, who was an electrical engineer and an expert at making rockets, had been active in Islamic NGOs that championed the Palestinian cause. The victim is believed to have become a liability for a regime hostile to Palestine, Ahmad Zahid added.

His remarks came after Israeli minister for military affairs Avigdor Lieberman dismissed suggestions that the scholar had been killed by Mossad. Lieberman claimed that the victim might have been killed as part of an internal Palestinian dispute.

Israel has either assassinated or attempted to assassinate many members of resistance movements fighting for the Palestinian cause.

Hamas described Batsh as an important member of the resistance movement, accusing Mossad of being behind the killing.

It called him a “loyal” member, and a “scientist of Palestine’s youth scholars,” who made “important contributions” and participated in international forums in the field of energy.

In 2010, Israel got embroiled in an international scandal when its operatives used false European and Australian passports to assassinate senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in the United Arab Emirates.

Onlookers have told Reuters that the killers of Batsh had “European features.”

The assassins of Mabhouh had European passports — one from France, three from Ireland, six from Britain, and one from Germany, according to Dubai police.

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