A dramatic kidnap case in Malaysia may point to changes in Mossad’s tactics

Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaREPORTS FROM KUALA LUMPUR SUGGEST that Malaysian agents operating in the service of Israeli intelligence carried out the kidnapping of a Palestinian engineer, Omar al-Balbaisi, on September 28. According to the Malaysian newspaper The Straits Times, the kidnap operation was orchestrated by the Israeli external intelligence agency, the Mossad.

Omar al-Balbaisi completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science at the Islamic University in Gaza, where he allegedly joined the Izz-ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, specializing in hacking mobile phones. In or around 2020, al-Balbaisi left the Gaza Strip for Istanbul, where, according to reports, a Hamas secret intelligence and cyber unit was established in 2020. The unit allegedly operated on instructions from the Hamas leadership in Gaza, without the knowledge of the Turkish authorities.

When al-Balbaisi was kidnapped, he was reportedly returning from lunch with another Palestinian expatriate. According to the report, a white van drove toward the two men. Four people emerged from the van, grabbed al-Balbaisi and dragged him into the vehicle, while yelling at him: “our boss wants to talk to you”. The other Palestinian tried to help al-Balbaisi, but was warned to stay away from the scene. He subsequently filed a report at a police station, reportedly about 40 minutes after his friend was kidnapped.

According to the reports, the kidnapped Palestinian was taken bound and blindfolded to a safe house, where his Malaysian captors tied him to a chair. They then called two men, allegedly Israelis, who told the abductee: “you know why you are here”. According to another report, al-Balbaisi was interrogated, allegedly by two Israelis, believed to be Mossad agents, via a video call. However, the video call was disconnected when Malaysian police officers broke into the safe house.

Upon receiving the information about the kidnapping, Malaysian police immediately sought to locate al-Balbaisi. They subsequently managed to raid the house where the Palestinian was being held, while his interrogation was underway. A source told the Malaysian newspaper that “the Israelis wanted to know about [al-Balbaisi’s] experience in the field of software, about the strengths of Hamas in this field, and the members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades that he knew”. Read more of this post

Hamas ‘found tracking devices’ inside weapons bound for Gaza

Rafah Border CrossingBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The Palestinian militant group Hamas said on Sunday it refused to take possession of a shipment of missiles after its weapons experts discovered they contained a number of carefully hidden tracking devices. The Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabea, which reported the story, said it spoke to a source “closely affiliated with weapons smugglers” in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, who confirmed Hamas’ claim. According to Al-Youm, the weapons shipment consisted of 28 long-range missiles stolen from the arsenal of the Libyan armed forces during the uprising that led to the overthrow of Libya’s late leader, Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi. The shipment made its way across the border with Egypt and from there to the Sinai desert, before ending up at the Rafah Border Crossing, located between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. It was there that the missiles were inspected by a team from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. The paper reported that one of the Hamas inspectors, a senior member of the al-Qassam Brigades, discovered a number of miniature tracking devices carefully concealed inside the missiles, which appeared to be active. Following the discovery, the Hamas team backed out of the purchase deal and abandoned the inspection site. Al-Youm also said that the Palestinian group has decided to terminate its contacts with a significant number of weapons smugglers operating in the Sinai, because of concerns that they may have been penetrated by Israeli and Egyptian intelligence. Read more of this post

Al-Mabhouh assassins used Irish passports, says Dubai police

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh


By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
At least four of the seven people believed to have participated in last month’s assassination of a senior Hamas military official in Dubai, used forged Irish passports to enter and exit the United Arab Emirates, according to local police. The body of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, co-founder of the Palestinian Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, was discovered by staff at Dubai’s luxury Al-Bustan Rotana Hotel, where al-Mabhouh was a guest, on January 20. Nine days later, on January 29, Hamas accused Israeli intelligence service Mossad of having killed al-Mabhouh. Now the Dubai police alleges that four of the seven assassins, which included at least one woman, used real Irish travel documents with falsified identities to enter the Emirates, and used them again to “flee to a European country” several hours before al-Mabhouh’s body was discovered.   Read more of this post

Israel blamed for killing of Hamas official in Dubai

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh


By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The Palestinian group Hamas says Israeli agents are behind the murder of one of its most senior commanders, whose body was discovered two weeks ago in a luxury Dubai hotel. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, co-founder of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, was an important mediator in weapons procurement for the Palestinian group, which has controlled the Gaza strip since 2006.  On January 19, al-Mabhouh arrived in the United Arab Emirates on a commercial flight from Damascus, Syria, where he had lived for the past several years. Interestingly, he was apparently traveling under his real name, and was unaccompanied by his usual bodyguard detail, which —intelNews hears– has led to speculation that al-Mabhouh was somehow lured to Dubai. His body was discovered by staff at the luxury Al-Bustan Rotana Hotel the following morning. Read more of this post

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