Turkey: 7 suspected Mossad operatives arrested

Police anti-terror and intelligence branch officers carried out raids in Istanbul and the West Coast city of Izmir.

By The Associated Press

Turkish police arrested seven people on Friday on suspicion of selling information to the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

The suspects, who allegedly passed details to Mossad via private detectives, were detained in a joint operation with Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, or MIT.

Acting on warrants issued by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, police anti-terror and intelligence branch officers carried out raids in Istanbul and the west coast city of Izmir, Anadolu reported.

Two other suspects in the investigation are thought to have been detained earlier.

Last month, 34 people were detained by Turkish police on suspicion of spying for Israel. They were accused of planning to carry out activities that included reconnaissance and “pursuing, assaulting and kidnapping” foreign nationals living in Turkey.

At the time, Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said most of the suspects were charged with committing “political or military espionage” on behalf of Israeli intelligence.

Mossad is said to have recruited Palestinians and Syrian nationals in Turkey as part of an operation against foreigners living in Turkey.

Following the Jan. 2 arrests, Anadolu cited a prosecution document as saying the operation targeted “Palestinian nationals and their families … within the scope of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

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The head of Israel’s domestic Shin Bet security agency said in December that his organization was prepared to target Hamas anywhere, including in Lebanon, Turkey and Qatar.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Israel of “serious consequences” if Israel pressed ahead with its threat to attack Hamas officials on Turkish soil.