Malaysia releases photo of assassin in Hamas engineer hit

Malaysian police  released a photo of one of the two alleged assassins who shot a Hamas-linked engineer, saying they are believed to still be in the country.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

Malaysian police on Wednesday released a photo of one of the two alleged assailants who shot a Palestinian Hamas-linked engineer over the weekend.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group has described the victim, Fadi al-Batsh, as a “commander” in its military wing and accused Israel of being behind Saturday’s shooting.

Israel has neither officially confirmed nor denied involvement, while Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the hit was the outcome of Palestinian infighting.

Malaysian police earlier released computer-generated images of the two suspects, based on eyewitness description. They are believed to be from Europe or the Middle East.

National Police Chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said Wednesday that investigators found a motorcycle abandoned near the murder scene and were able to trace an actual photo of one of the suspects. He said the men were believed to have entered Malaysia in late January using fake identification documents.

“We believe that the suspects are still in the country,” Fuzi said, adding that they may have changed their appearance.

The killing was done in a “very professional” manner and police are working on the angle that the assailants may be foreign agents, Fuzi said. He declined to comment on whether they are linked to Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency.

Police said al-Batsh, 34, was hit with more than a dozen bullets by the assailants, who shot from a motorcycle as he was heading to a mosque for dawn prayers in a suburb near Kuala Lumpur. A security video showed that the suspects had waited for him for almost 20 minutes.

Al-Batsh’s body was released to his family on Wednesday and taken to a surau, or Islamic assembly building, where dozens of people mourned his death at a funeral ceremony.

Anwar al-Agha, the Palestinian envoy in Malaysia, said al-Batsh’s body would be repatriated later Wednesday to the Gaza Strip for burial. He said Egypt had agreed to allow the body to be returned through its border with Gaza.

Hamas accused Mossad of killing al-Batsh and has threatened retaliation.

Al-Batsh, an electrical engineering lecturer at a Malaysian university, was believed to have been working on Hamas’ unmanned aerial vehicle program and on improving the accuracy of its rockets.