A 200-agent force employed by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) this month exposed a network of operatives working for Israel’s Mossad and carrying out missions against enemies of Israel, including foreign students, in Turkey, Daily Saban and Gazete Vatan reported Thursday.
The Mossad agents, some Turkish citizens and some foreigners, but all Arabs, tracked university students who could potentially work for the security industry after their graduation, as well as PA residents studying in Turkey.
According to the two major media outlets, the Mossad network, consisting of five separate cells of three agents each in four different provinces, was tracked by MIT units for the past year and was caught in collaboration with Turkish police on Oct. 7.
The investigation revealed that one of the cells was tasked with contacting and meeting Mossad field officers abroad to pass along significant documents.
“One of the spies, A.B., was one of the most important members of the network and was entrusted with investigating the conditions of Palestinians living in Turkey. The spy acted as a courier for payments and was reported missing in Istanbul’s Maltepe district in June 2021 in an attempt to mislead security forces. However, MIT was already carrying out surveillance on the cells at the time,” Daily Saban reported.
According to Gazete Vatan, the interrogations of the captured spies are currently ongoing, and when those are over they will be referred to the prosecutor’s office. The expectation is that they would be indicted, tried, and given harsh sentences.
The spy network used the encryption application Protonmail, as well as SafeUM, which generates fake phone numbers that cell members used to communicate with their Mossad handlers. In return for their works, the 15 Mossad agents received money transfers via Western Union and Moneygram, and in some cases were paid in Bitcoin. The agents also used a courier system to transfer funds, using jewelry stores and markets as hubs, according to Daily Saban.