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Turkey dismantles Israel spy cell, arrests 15

Turkish soldiers in Ankara, Turkey on 28 August 2021 [Arif Akdoğan/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish soldiers in Ankara, Turkey on 28 August 2021 [Arif Akdoğan/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish intelligence services have dismantled an Israeli Mossad network that was gathering information on Palestinians living in the country, the Turkish Sabah newspaper reported yesterday.

Fifteen people were arrested earlier this month, following a year-long counterintelligence operation, and they are said to have been providing Mossad with details of local and foreign students. "After the information was shared with police, counterterrorism forces caught the 15 spies in a secret operation carried out on Oct. 7 in four provinces," the Daily Sabah reported.

"The members of the espionage network were instructed to gather information on Palestinians attending Turkish universities and to find out what opportunities they are provided by the government and municipalities."

They also identified university students who may be starting a career in the defence industry.

Agents were paid varying amounts depending on the importance of the information they were providing to Mossad, the paper explained. They travelled abroad, to Europe and Africa, to meet with Mossad agents and transfer information deemed vital for the spy network. They also used encryption software to transfer documents over the web.

According to Turkish intelligence, the agents met face to face with Israeli Mossad officials abroad, not in Israel, in order not to be exposed.

READ: Turkey welcomes last Jew from Afghanistan, granting him visa

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