The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Tunisian engineer Mohammed Al-Zawari, who was killed last December, was working on developing remote-controlled submarines that were to target Israeli oil and gas platforms in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Tunisian engineer was shot in the Tunisian coastal city of Sfax in an operation involving at least eight Tunisians, whom officials in Tunisia said they were agents for foreign bodies. The Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, is suspected to be responsible for Zawari’s death. The eight suspects were already arrested pending the investigation into Zawari’s death.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman was quoted by Ynetnews.com as saying that the aerial engineer “probably wasn’t a great mean of peace or up for a Nobel Peace Prize.”
“We will protect our interests in the best way we know how, he added.
Former counterterrorism agent for the US State Department Fred Burton commented on the issue in an article published on the intelligence website Startfor: “From the streets of Europe to the Middle East, Israel’s agents time and again have found their mark, with their victims dispatched in novel ways, from bombs under beds to lone figures targeted on dark streets with silenced Beretta .22s. I’ve often wondered if somewhere inside the Mossad there is a secret office that mulls over plots from fiction novels and uses them to plan real-world missions,” he wrote.
He added that Zawari, a Hamas researcher, was known as “The Engineer” for his expertise, and he was “working to develop an armed underwater drone that would have targeted Israeli oil and gas platforms in the Mediterranean Sea.”
The case, the US expert says, is reminiscent of Israel’s 1988 assassination of the Fatah operative Khalil Al-Wazir in his home in Tunis.