A Malaysian demonstration in support of Palestine on 4 June 2010 (Photo Credit: AP/Mark Baker)
Malaysia-based daily newspaper The Straits Times uncovered on 17 October the arrest of a Mossad-affiliated hit team, involved in the kidnapping of a Palestinian in Kuala Lumpur, on behalf of Israel.
The Mossad team was able to locate two Palestinian computer programming specialists while they were leaving a diner near Jalan Yap Kwan Seng by car, just after 10 pm.
The “snatch-and-grab” team consisted of four local Malaysians who kidnapped the driver of the car and took him into one of the two vehicles used for the operation, leaving the second Palestinian behind and allowing him to escape – something that would later come back to haunt them.
The vehicles left the scene and arrived at the chalet they were headed to, where the Palestinian IT specialist was tied up in one of the rooms and put on a video call with Israeli Mossad operatives who started to bark questions at him, inquiring about Hamas’s cyber unit.
The call was organized by two men, who interrogated the specialist for 24 hours, while the Malaysian team was on standby to torture the victim when answers were unsatisfactory.
The Straits Times learned that the Mossad wanted insight into his experience in software development and his role in assisting the Cyber unit of Hamas to develop new weapons.
Additionally, the Mossad wanted to uncover his associates in the hierarchy of leaders in the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.
Meanwhile, the other specialist who was able to escape sensed the gravity of the situation and alerted the security personnel at a hotel nearby, initiating the pursuit to arrest the cell.
Remarkably, it was revealed that the Mossad had prepared another chalet room for the second specialist. A team was waiting overseas to interrogate him as well, but miscommunication confused the kidnappers.
According to Al-Jazeera, the second specialist was a more valuable target. However, had he not been able to escape, the Malaysian police would have remained oblivious to the entire operation.
Reportedly, despite the cell’s training in Europe by Mossad operatives, the recruits failed to notice the CCTV cameras and used fake plates, giving the police enough information to locate them.
“Had the Malaysian police not acted swiftly, the victim would have likely disappeared,” informed sources told The Straits Times.
The newspaper added that the police arrived halfway through the video call, surprising the Israelis at the other end, who terminated the call as soon as they heard the chaos outside and saw the police.
The two Palestinian IT specialists, said to be natives of Gaza, have since left Malaysia for an undisclosed country.
There are no official relations between Malaysia and Israel, and this plot is one of several Mossad operations in southeast Asia. Nonetheless, its impact on the secret ties between both countries is questionable.
Back in 2015, then-prime minister Minister Najib Razak visited the Hamas-run government in Gaza and expressed his support for the besieged enclave in southern occupied Palestine.
“We believe in the struggle of the Palestinian people. They have been suppressed and oppressed for so long,” said Razak.
Nonetheless, data released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics reveals that Malaysia imported $1.457 billion worth of products in 2014, a 24 percent increase since the previous year. Economic ties are unaffected as of today.