Israel's Mossad recruited Malaysian mercenaries who bungled a covert operation to abduct a Palestinian man in Kuala Lumpur last month, raising questions about the reach of the Zionist regime in its efforts to stop enemies around the world.
The New Straits Times reported that a group of Malaysians were assigned to abduct a Palestinian computer programmer whom Israel believed was working for Hamas.
It later turned out that they might have abducted the wrong Palestinian, just one of several careless mistakes committed by the paid operatives.
"The operatives who did the snatch-and-grab may have had a miscommunication with their Israeli handlers and several other Malaysians waiting at the chalet because they bungled and let the other Palestinian get away... in fact, he would have been the more prized capture," the daily quoted a source with knowledge of the incident as saying.
The report said they had stopped two Palestinian men near a mall in Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, before assaulting one of them, 31-year-old Omar ZM Albelbaisy Raeda.
The hired abductors then took Omar away, warning his friend not to interfere. The identity of his friend was not immediately clear.
However, he immediately alerted the police with details of the abductors' vehicle.
Police tracked the men to a chalet in Kuala Langat, Selangor, where the abductors were carrying out a torture cum interrogation session while taking instructions from their Israeli bosses through a video call, according to the daily.
Police raided the room in the middle of the interrogation and arrested about a dozen men believed to have been hired by Mossad.
Last week, 11 people were charged with kidnapping Omar, all of whom face either the death sentence or life imprisonment.
They are Edy Ko’im Said, Mohamad Norakmal Hassan, Dody Junaidi, Tengku Arif Bongsu Tengku Hamid, Mohamad Naziree Mustapha, Faizull Hardey Mohd Isa, Muhammad Iqmal Abdul Rahis, Mohamad Sufian Saly, Muhammad Al Hatim Mohd Fauzi, Raibafie Amdan and Nidarahayu Zainal.
The incident was reminiscent of the 2018 attack on a prominent Palestinian activist, Fadi al-Batsh, who was gunned down in Kuala Lumpur by two assailants believed to be Mossad agents.
Israel frequently conducts covert military operations against Palestinians abroad.
Last year, reports quoting Israeli television said Israel had ordered its secret services Shin Bet and Mossad "to eliminate top Hamas officials inside and outside of the country", naming Malaysia alongside Iran, Turkey and Qatar as countries that assist Hamas.
This was followed by claims by an Israeli cyber analyst that Malaysia had become Hamas' "digital front" in the latter's cyber attacks against Israeli interests.
Emily Schrader specifically referred to the hashtag #IsraelKoyak used by Malaysian social media users in the wake of Israel's military assault in Gaza last year, saying there had been "anti-Israel trolls" from Malaysia involved in "an organised and coordinated cyber bullying attack... to disrupt the daily lives of Israelis".
"Even more alarming, these activists also held coordinated campaigns to hack into social media accounts of major pro-Israel voices (including myself) and lock their accounts," she wrote on the Jerusalem Post in July last year.
"This isn’t just 'hacktivism' or cyber bullying, it’s war – and it has profound consequences."
Malaysia, a vocal critic of Zionist policies in Palestine, has no diplomatic ties with Israel.