Malaysian police release images of suspects in assassination of Palestinian engineer

Malaysian police release images of suspects in assassination of Palestinian engineer
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Kuala Lumpur police chief Mazlan Lazim said on Monday (April 23) that the killers probably either of Middle Eastern or European descent, has a fairly long beard and is about 180cm in height. (PHOTO: BERNAMA)
Malaysian police release images of suspects in assassination of Palestinian engineer
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Photo-fits of the suspects behind the shooting of Palestinian academic Fadi al-Batsh in Malaysia.(PHOTO: BERNAMA)
Updated 24 April 2018

Malaysian police release images of suspects in assassination of Palestinian engineer

Malaysian police release images of suspects in assassination of Palestinian engineer
  • Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the photo-fit was produced based on description by witnesses at the scene
  • Fadi, a lecturer in electrical engineering at a private institution of higher learning here, was gunned down while he was walking to a surau

KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has released the photo-fit of the two suspects in the murder of Palestinian Dr Fadi Mohammed Al Batsh, who was gunned down as he was walking to a surau in Jalan Meranti, Setapak, here two days ago, to all the exit points in the country.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the photo-fit was produced based on description by witnesses at the scene.

“One of the suspects is believed to be from a Middle-East or European country. Both are bearded, with sturdy body and about 180 centimeters tall,” he told a media conference at the wearing of ranks for PDRM senior officers and presentation of the Pingat Jasa Pahlawan Negara award here today.

He said police also released sketches of a BMW GS and Kawasaki Versys high-powered motorcycle, believed used by the suspects.

The police, he said, were also working with the various agencies, including the Immigration Department, to facilitate investigation, including tracking the two suspects, who were clad in dark-colored jackets and were wearing crash helmets.

On the result of the port mortem on Fadi, Mohamad Fuzi said he died due to injuries caused by the gun shots.

“There were 14 shot wounds on the victims head and body,” he said, adding that the bullets and spent shells that were found at the scene had been sent for analysis.

He said the police would also call Fadis brother, Dr. Rami Al Batsh, who arrived from Germany yesterday, to assist in the investigation, if it was necessary.

Mohamad Fuzi urged those with information on the suspects to contact investigating officer ASP Shahrizal Saleh at 017-7134705 or the Wangsa Maju Criminal Investigation department head ASP Khairil Idzwan Ahmad at 019-3592582.

He said those were at the location of the murder between 5 am and 7 am last Saturday with information that could assist police in the investigation should also come forward and contact the police.

Fadi, a lecturer in electrical engineering at a private institution of higher learning here, was gunned down while he was walking to a surau near a condominium in Jalan Meranti, Setapak, here at about 6 am last Saturday.


What made him a target

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said at the weekend the suspects were thought to be European and to have ties with a foreign intelligence agency.

Mohamad Fuzi said the police were conducting a “comprehensive” investigation and a hunt had been launched for the pair.

“We can’t be sure if the two suspects are still in the country,” he said, urging anyone who might have information to come forward.

The scientist’s widow, Enas Al-Batsh, spent two hours at the hospital holding his body Monday. Batsh had three young children and had lived in Malaysia for 10 years.

Abdul Rahim Shehab, a friend of the scientist’s, said the Palestinian representative in Malaysia was making arrangements for his body to be sent back home for burial.

“Fadi’s parents want his body to be buried in Gaza,” he said.

Mossad is believed to have assassinated Palestinian militants and scientists in the past, but rarely confirms such operations.

Batsh’s expertise in making weapons could have made him a target —  militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza regularly fire rockets at southern Israel, usually without causing casualties.

But Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman Sunday denied claims of the Jewish state’s involvement, suggesting instead that it was a “settling of accounts” between factions of a terror group.

Tensions between Israel and Gaza are high, with 38 Palestinians killed in four weeks of clashes along the border.

It was the second high-profile killing of a foreigner in Malaysia in just over a year.

In February 2017 assassins smeared the banned VX nerve agent on the face of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, killing him within minutes.

Decoder

What is Mossad?

Mossad, which stands for Central Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations and established in 1949, is Israel's spy agency concerned with foreign intelligence gathering and covert operations.

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