The failure of the Israeli Mossad operation in Malaysia

The Israeli Mossad is trying to obtain important information about the cyber capabilities of the Hamas movement, which is rehabilitating its cyber system that was damaged during operation "Guardian of the Walls" and is also operating in Malaysia. Ahead of the next round of fighting, Hamas is developing cyber capabilities that endanger the security of the State of Israel.

The case of the kidnapping in Kuala Lampur in Malaysia of the computer expert and operative of the military wing of Hamas attributed to the Israeli Mossad, an operation that ultimately failed, once again focuses the spotlight on the cyber project of the Hamas movement, this project was severely damaged during the Israeli military operation in Gaza Strip in May 2021 but it has begun to recover and now become again a danger to Israel.

This is the reason why Israeli intelligence officials have stepped up their efforts to collect more intelligence on the Hamas “cyber force” that is supposed to operate against Israel’s civilian and security systems in the next war.

The cyber project of Hamas works in full cooperation with the cyber system of Iran, apparently the purpose of the Mossad’s operation in Malaysia was to get their hands on the information in the field of the computers and cyber operative of Hamas, Omar al-Belbeisi, a computer programmer who specializes in infiltrating Android-type telephones .

The Mossad agents tried to kidnap and investigate him remotely using a video call, without the physical presence of the Israeli Mossad agents in Malaysia itself but through local residents who probably worked for the Mossad without being aware of it.
This method was already used by the Mossad in its covert operations in Iran.

Omar al-Belbeisi was employed by the Hamas branch office in Istanbul.


The Mossad is acting cautiously after a successful assassination operation in Malaysia in April 2018, when Dr. Fadi al-Batsh, an electrical engineer who was involved in secret projects of the military wing of Hamas, was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, his assassination was a moral and operational blow to Hamas.

Al-Batsh was considered an expert in electrical and energy engineering who worked as a lecturer at the University of Kuala Lumpur and also served as an imam of one of the mosques in the city.

He was shot to death on April 21 while he was on his way to the morning prayer at the mosque, according to Malaysian police officials he was shot by 2 motorcyclists who managed to escape from the scene of the incident.

The military wing of Hamas has activities in Malaysia, until now it was known that it was mainly engaged in recruiting Palestinian students studying at universities for terrorist activities in the West Bank.

A Hamas delegation led by Khaled Mashal and 2 members of the Political Bureau, Muhammad Nazal and Maher Obeid, visited Malaysia officially in December 2015 and met with Tanko Adnan Mansour, Secretary .eneral of the ruling party.

.In 2010, Hamas sent 15 operatives to Malaysia to train in paragliding
The military wing of Hamas is in coordination with the Hamas branch in Istanbul, where a special body of Hamas operates that deals with the development of weapons and cyber warfare.

Hamas’ cyber corps

The military wing of Hamas established its cyber units known officially as the “Cyber Corps” in 2014, according to Hamas sources it operated secretly for 8 years and only now has the organization officially acknowledged its existence.

The cyber division of Hamas suffered a severe blow during operation “Guardian of the Wales”, based on accurate intelligence from the Shin Bet, the IDF on May 12, 2021 assassinated Jumaa a-Takhla, head of the cyber division and leader of the missile and drone improvement project and holder of a portfolio of research and development in Hamas.

He was the right-hand man of Mohammed Def, the chief of staff of the military wing, and his assassination was a significant blow to the project of Hamas.

Jumaa a-Takhla, known as “Abu Mujahed”, was about 60 years old, he is a Jordanian who was born to a Palestinian family from the Ramla area who fled to the Gaza Strip during the War of Independence. He studied religion and engineering and fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets in 1982 together with Dr. Abdullah Azzam, a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad.

Then he moved to Syria and was responsible for the military industry of Hamas and in 2004 he joined the military wing of the organization, he tried to reach the Gaza Strip through Egypt and was arrested by the Egyptian intelligence in 2009.

Only in 2011 did he manage to enter the Gaza Strip , according to Hamas officials, he was saved twice from assassination attempts by Israel in 2012 and 2014.

When he arrived into Gaza Strip, he began to deal with several issues such as the development of dro”nes and the establishment of the “Cyber Corps”.

He is responsible for the production of the model of the “Ababil” type drones and the advanced “Sheahab” model drones together with a group of engineers including the engineer Mohammed al-Zawari who was assassinated in Tunisia in 2016 by the Israeli Mossad.

In 2014 Jumaa al-Takhla established the Hamas cyber division together with a series of engineers recruited into the military wing of Hamas.
Among his achievements we can mention the development of the cyber system and the development of software for cyber warfare.

Hamas officials count a series of cyber achievements attributed to Jumaa a-Tahala.

A. Cutting off electricity in the settlements surrounding Gaza.
B. Damage to dozens of Israeli servers and websites.
C. Intrusion into telephones and computers of IDF soldiers.
D. Taking over the alarm horn system in the south of the country.
E. Intrusion into security cameras in security facilities.
F. Jamming of IDF frequencies.
G. Intrusion into the telephone of the director of the aerospace industry.
H. Intrusion into the computers of the bus system of the “Egged” company.
I. Intrusion into Israeli television channels.

The operation in Malaysia attributed to the Israeli Mossad failed, but we can learn from it the great importance that Israel attaches to the subject of cyber warfare and the great effort it makes to find out what the capabilities of its enemies are, especially those that cooperate with Iran.

Hamas officially confirms that its military wing has a “cyber corps”, last week the military wing held an official memorial ceremony for Juma’a al-Takhla in Gaza city in which his great work in the cyber field was noted.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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