Turkiye's National Intelligence Agency (MIT) has uncovered and arrested eleven people said to be part of an Israeli Mossad cell spying on individuals and entities related to Iran, Sabah reported on Tuesday. According to the Turkish newspaper, the mission was accomplished in cooperation with the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul.
The Turkish authorities said that the investigation of the cell was carried out over a period of 18 months. They noted that a threatening package sent by the cell to one of the targeted individuals triggered the investigation.
Selcuk Kucukkaya is alleged to be the leader of the group, said Sabah. He was apparently recruited by the Mossad through a member of the Fethullah Gulen organisation, which is designated as a terrorist group by the Turkish authorities.
Kucukkaya is said to have met with Mossad agents in various European countries, carrying out their directions and passing several tests and training sessions before he was tasked to collect information about his targets in Turkiye. The newspaper said that he provided details about his targets, including their families, travel and return to the country, bank accounts, properties, homes, networks, communications and employment.
It was also reported that he recruited 15 people, and was detained with his assistant two months ago; eleven others were arrested two days ago. The police are still chasing two others.
The last time that the MIT dismantled a Mossad cell in Turkiye was in December, when a number of agents were arrested for spying on Palestinians.
READ: Turkiye arrests 44 for spying for Israel's Mossad