Palestinian Academic ‘killed by Mossad’ in Malaysia, says family

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Fadi Al-Batesh. (Photo courtesy: social media)
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Malaysian forensic police cordon off the area where a Palestinian scientist was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur on April 21, 2018. (AFP)
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Palestinians gather in mourning outside the family home of 35-year-old professor and Hamas member Fadi Mohammad Al-Batsh, who was killed early in the day in Malaysia, in Jabalia in the northern Gaza strip on April 21, 2018. (AFP)
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Police says the assassins fired 14 bullets before they killed Fadi Al-Batash. (AN photo)
Updated 21 April 2018
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Palestinian Academic ‘killed by Mossad’ in Malaysia, says family

  • Fadi Mohammed Al-Batsh was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle outside a mosque in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
  • Al-Batash had been living in Malaysia since 2012 and was teaching at the Universiti Kuala Lumpur British-Malaysian Institute.

Kuala Lumpur: A Palestinian academic from Gaza was shot dead by two unidentified assailants on a motorbike early on Saturday morning.
Fadi Al-Batsh, 35, was on his way to the neighboring mosque at 6am when he was gunned down outside of the condominium he lived in, according to Datuk Mazlan Lazim, Kuala Lumpur police chief.
He said that the two attackers had waited for Al-Batsh in front of a residential building in the Setapak district of the Malaysian capital for almost 20 minutes and fired at least 10 bullets, killing him instantly.
Al-Batsh’s family said they suspected that Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, was behind his murder.
Anwar Al-Agha, Palestine’s ambassador to Malaysia, later identified the victim, an engineering lecturer, but declined to say if he was a member of Hamas.
Hamas, which exercises de facto control over Gaza, said one of its members was “assassinated” in Malaysia but stopped short of accusing Israel’s secret service of carrying out the killing.
Batsh’s uncle, Jamal Al-Batsh, speaking to Reuters in the Gaza Strip, said he believed the killing was the work of Mossad. When asked who he blamed, he replied: “The Israeli Mossad. The Israeli Mossad stood behind the assassination of educated people and intellectuals because Israel knows Palestine will be liberated by scientists.”
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysia’s deputy prime minister, said the government was looking into the possibility of the involvement of “foreign agents” in the killing, AP reported. He told local media that initial investigations showed that the assailants in Saturday morning’s attack were “white men” driving a powerful BMW 1100cc motorbike.
“His killing could have some links with foreign intelligence agencies or he may also be considered a liability to nations friendly to Palestine,” Hamidi was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times English-language daily.
The murder sent shockwaves across the peaceful neighborhood where he lived and where most residents are from Africa and the Middle East. Bashir Abei, 34, a student, said that Al-Batash was a respectable Imam. “I’ve been living here for five years. This is the first time such a case ever happened here,” he said.
Al-Batash had been living in Malaysia since 2012 and was teaching at the Universiti Kuala Lumpur British-Malaysian Institute. He obtained his undergraduate and masters degrees in Gaza before continuing his PhD at Malaya University (UM) under a Khazanah Foundation scholarship program run by the Malaysian government. He also received the foundation’s high-achiever award from Najib Razak, Malaysian prime minister, for his research work.
Kamarul Zaman Shaharul Anwar, head of Humanitarian Care Malaysia and a friend of Al-Batash, said that he was a good family man with three children and an exceptionally intelligent man who had served as an imam in the neighborhood’s nearby mosque for the past five years.
“I believe the murder happened because of his expertise as a PhD in electrical engineering,” he said.
Ahmad Shehaz, 28, a student and close friend of Al-Batash, also shared Kamarul’s sentiment. “There are more than 5,000 Palestinians and undergraduates and postgraduates (in Malaysia). Why did they choose to kill Fadi?” he said.
Datuk Nur Jazlan, Malaysian deputy home minister, told Arab News the Malaysian police were still investigating the case and did not elaborate further.


US charges Chicago man with online recruiting for Daesh

Updated 20 October 2018
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US charges Chicago man with online recruiting for Daesh

  • The 34-year-old made an initial court appearance Friday and was ordered held in federal custody
  • The naturalized US citizen is allegedly a member of Khattab Media Foundation, an online group aligned with Daesh

CHICAGO: A US citizen of Iraqi descent has been charged in Chicago with online coordination with Daesh to recruit and encourage attacks, federal authorities said Friday.
Ashraf Al-Safoo was arrested Wednesday in the Midwestern city and charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
The 34-year-old made an initial court appearance Friday and was ordered held in federal custody.
Safoo is accused of disseminating “online propaganda promoting violence in support of (Daesh),” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement.
The naturalized US citizen is allegedly a member of Khattab Media Foundation, an online group aligned with Daesh, authorities said.
He is accused of posting pro-Daesh “videos, articles, essays and infographics across multiple social media platforms, at the direction and in coordination with” the extremist group, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Much of the propaganda allegedly promoted violent jihad.
The government’s complaint made public Friday included posts Safoo is alleged to have written online calling on others to “roll up your sleeves” to create online content in support of Daesh.
“Participate in the war, and spread fear,” Safoo is accused of writing.