A Mossad network of 15 spies was reportedly tasked with gathering information on students and “investigating the conditions of Palestinians living in Turkey.”
By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News
Turkey’s national intelligence agency has reportedly exposed a network of 15 Mossad spies operating in the country, the Turkish daily Sabah newspaper reported Thursday.
The report claimed that a 200-person team from Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) had been tracking the group’s operations for a year before sharing information with police and carrying out the arrests in a secret operation earlier this month that covered four Turkish provinces.
The network, which reportedly included operatives of Arab ethnicity and several Palestinians, “had been covertly carrying out activities against Israeli opponents” and “providing Mossad information on foreign students enrolled in Turkish universities,” the Sabah report read, adding that the group was organized in five separate cells of three people each.
By gathering information on students enrolled in Turkish universities, the network was trying to build a database of potential candidates to be employed in Turkey’s defense industries in the future, the report argued. Furthermore, the report noted that several cells were also put in charge of “investigating the conditions of Palestinians living in Turkey.”
One of the network’s cell, described in the report as “particularly important,” was tasked with contacting Mossad field officers and meeting with them abroad, according to the report.
The operatives reportedly used applications that allowed them to encrypt sensitive information and safely communicate it back to Israel. They were paid via money transfers using services like Western Union and Moneygram, and were compensated in Bitcoin at times, according to Sabah.
Following the report, Turkish media outlets published the pictures of several of the supposedly arrested spies.
הדיווח על החשיפה לכאורה של רשת הריגול שניהל המוסד בטורקיה עדיין מוגבלת. יתכן ולטורקים יש עניין לשלוט בהיקף המידע והתזמון במסגרת משא ומתן חשאי על עניינים אחרים שבהם לטורקיה יש עניין. pic.twitter.com/kTlXnCdWI0
— אינטלי טיימס – Intelli Times (@IntelliTimes) October 21, 2021
“The investigation is expected only to deepen and a comprehensive indictment will be prepared once MIT’s expert teams complete their interrogations of the spies,” Sabah reported.
Earlier this month, Iran announced that it had arrested 10 spies working for unspecified “regional” countries. Iran’s Intelligence Ministry noted that they were trying to collect information on “sensitive centers” in the Islamic Republic.
Jerusalem has so far remined silent on both reports.