Turkey publishes photos of seized alleged Mossad spies

On Monday, Turkish daily news outlet Sabah published photographs of the 15, which appear to be mugshots taken by the authorities, and released some details about their alleged activities.

By Donna Rachel Edmunds, World Israel News

A Mossad spy ring has been apprehended in Turkey, according to reports in the Erdogan-loyalist daily paper Sabah. The ring is said to comprise of 15 men in five cells across the country.

The men were reportedly arrested on October 7, following a year-long operation by Turkey’s intelligence agency, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), to track the men’s activities. Some 200 agents raided the cells in a secretive operation, resulting in the arrests.

The men are said to have been involved in gathering information on Palestinians and other foreign students enrolled in Turkish Universitie along with the organizations that hosted them. Students who were deemed to be potential players in the defense industry were of particular interest.

The information gathered was then fed back to Mossad agents using encrypted platforms such as ProtonMail and SafeUM. They are also said to have used WhatsApp to communicate.

On Monday, Sabah published photographs of the 15, which appear to be mugshots taken by the authorities, and released some details about their alleged activities.

The men, all of Arab origin and known only by their initials, are said to have met with Mossad agents in various locations.  Some received orders in Bucharest and Nairobi; others are said to have exchanged information with agents in Switzerland and Croatia.

Sabah also claims to have interviewed one of the men, identified only the initials M.A.S., on Friday, although it is not clear how the paper gained access. So far the Turkish authorities have not released any public statement, nor have they confirmed the arrests.

The man, known as M.A.S., told Sabah that he has a company providing consultancy services to students coming to Istanbul, and that he was originally approached by a man who claimed to represent an Arab from Germany who wanted to study in Turkey.

He was then asked to feed back information on how Palestinians entered Turkey to study and what sort of help they received from the Turkish officials. “I met face to face with a Mossad official. He taught me to encrypt files on the laptop,” he said.

In return, he was paid over $10,000 over three years sent in various ways, including via Western Union. Part of the funds were handed to him in a market in Istanbul after he produced his ID and a receipt.

According to the Sabah report, MIT also tracked some of these payments during its surveillance, some of which was done via transfers from jewelry and currency exchange stores. Other payments were made in Bitcoin.

Another of the arrested men, identified as A.B., is said to have been a courier for payments. He, to,o is said to have pocketed $10,000 from his activities.

Another, R.A.A., allegedly met with Mossad agents in Zagreb, receiving two payments of $1,000 and $1,200.

According to the Middle East Eye, six Palestinians who were recently reported missing are among those arrested.

Speaking by phone to the news outlet, the brother of one of the men, identified only as ‘M’, said he had received a call from his brother confirming he had been arrested in Istanbul and requesting the family find a lawyer.

According to the brother, all the allegations were false. His brother was a student at the medical school in Konya, having lived in Turkey for nine years, and was supposed to graduate in two months’ time, he said.

Israeli officials so far have also not commented on the matter.