NYT report claims assassinated Gaza engineer had ties with North Korea

Police Deny Late Arrival Allegations At Fatal Shooting Scene Of Dr Fadi

Malaysian police issue images of Hamas scientist Fadi al-Batsh's motorcycle assassins

Fadi al-Batsh, a 35 year old Palestinian academic was shot dead by two gunmen riding a motorcycle while he was heading to mosque in the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Gombak for dawn prayers on Saturday.

Israeli officials claimed Murtaja was a paid member of Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza, but offered no evidence to support their allegations.

The Times also cited "Western and Middle Eastern intelligence officials" as saying that Batash may also have been active in negotiating arms deals with North Korea through Malaysia.

"That claim has been confirmed by Middle Eastern intelligence officials", The New York Times reported, claiming the "broader operation" was ordered by the Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen.

The speculation is based, among other things, on a report that the Egyptian government has recently seized a shipment of North Korean guided munitions equipment on its way to the Gaza Strip.

The Times also cited a United Nations report claiming that Pyongyang had set up a shell company to circumnavigate sanctions and conduct sales of "military-grade communication systems" through Kuala Lumpur.

Hamas denied yesterday that it was in talks with Israel related to Israelis captured in the Gaza Strip, a statement said.

Hamas' efforts to cultivate its scientists overseas, the officials said, are being directed from Turkey and on the day of his death Batash was meant to travel to Istanbul to meet with the head of the unit overseeing those efforts. The sources told the American newspaper that Batash was sent by Hamas to Malaysia, where he was killed, to purchase drones for operational use.

But Israel has dismissed claims that the country's spy agency was behind Batash's killing, suggesting instead that his killing was a "settling of accounts" between sparring terrorist factions.

Earlier Wednesday police said they believed the two suspects accused of carrying out the hit were still in the country, and released a photograph of one of them.

The Royal Malaysia Police released photos of a suspect in the murder of Dr Fadi M R Albatsh.

On Saturday, Ismail Haniyeh, the former Prime Minister of Palestine told that based on previous assassinations "Mossad is not away from this disgraceful, bad crime".

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