Thwarted Mossad operations in Turkey reveal details of intelligence conflict

Ankara- In a controversial development, Turkish authorities last Friday announced the arrest of 7 people in Istanbul and Izmir states on charges related to their suspicion of involvement in selling information to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, after intelligence reports indicate that they Private investigators used tactics to track his targets inside Turkish territory, such as collecting personal data, reconnaissance, visual and photographic documentation in addition to surveillance and installation of tracking devices.

The incident opened the door to new questions about the evolution of the battle between Turkish and Israeli intelligence, since Turkish authorities announced earlier this year that they had arrested 34 people suspected of carrying out international espionage activities for the Mossad. Was arrested. Security operations were conducted in 8 different states and 15 were arrested after interrogating them. 8 of them were deported, while 11 were released on conditions.

These developments come in the wake of Israeli threats to take action against Hamas leaders in several countries, including Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, in what could be described as “intelligence diplomacy”, signaling a new increase in intelligence activity. Is. between the two countries, and the transition of Turkish intelligence from a surveillance phase to the phase of engaging in practical operations.

cell detection

The Mossad considered the 1990s to be a golden age in relations between itself and Turkish intelligence, but according to security experts, its suspicion of Turkey and its intelligence increased after 2010, as the Turkish intelligence service has since 2021 conducted 4 attacks against it. Special campaigns have been launched. People who conduct international espionage activities for intelligence services. Israeli.

In October 2021, relations between the two sides significantly strained following Turkey's announcement of the arrest of 29 individuals, including Israeli citizens, as part of an operation labeled “Rebellion”, following a year-long careful surveillance by Turkish intelligence. seen. This resulted in the discovery of an espionage network that worked for the Mossad for the purpose of collecting information about Syrian and Palestinian students in Turkish universities.

This revelation was followed by the “New Blaze” operation, during which 68 agents were arrested in December 2022, and then the “Nikbet” operation, which targeted 17 agents in April 2023, among which was the Turkish Selçuk Küçük, which led to a Intelligence had established a network of Turks and foreigners inside Turkey. It disseminated secret information in exchange for money using intelligence methods on behalf of the Mossad.

In 2024, Turkish intelligence launched Operation “City of the Dead”, which targeted 46 people for similar reasons, arresting 34 of them, while 12 others remained at large, and have presumably left the country. .

However, the ongoing intelligence battle between the two sides has not prevented the Turkish side from playing its role in protecting Israeli civilians. In February 2022, Turkish intelligence foiled an assassination attempt targeting a Jewish businessman who has dual Turkish and Israeli citizenship and lives in Istanbul. ,

Cypriot authorities also arrested two Iranians for questioning about an alleged plan to launch attacks on Israeli citizens living in Cyprus, and Turkish media reports indicated that Turkish intelligence played a key role in preventing the implementation of this attack. Played.

In a similar incident, Turkish intelligence played a fundamental role in foiling an attempt by the Israeli Mossad to kidnap a Palestinian software engineer responsible for hacking and disabling the Iron Dome from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur in October 2022.

Mossad methods

The Mossad particularly focuses on Palestinians living in Turkey, especially students studying in engineering subjects, in addition to individuals who may have ties to the Hamas movement, to gather valuable intelligence and carry out its intelligence activities. In the context of their efforts to increase.

According to Turkish media reports based on the results of investigations with detainees, the Mossad uses a variety of methods to deploy its spies in Turkey. The most widely used and effective methods include fake job advertisements and advertisements with little or no description on online and social media platforms. For financial scholarships for students.

Israeli officials' communication with recruits is limited to written conversations through messaging applications such as “Telegram” and “WhatsApp”, while payments and money are hand-delivered to them through intermediaries.

The tasks then move to higher tactical levels, where agents are required to perform complex tasks including personal meetings, information gathering, research, photographing and videotaping targets, in addition to managing WhatsApp groups and websites to spread disinformation and conduct financial transfers. Is required. , and operate under the guise of consulting companies.

In his comments to Al Jazeera Net, a source in the Hamas movement said, “The methods adopted by the Mossad to recruit its agents have become exposed and known to all, and have been proven to fail many times over,” he said. That “its threats and increasing the level of its movements abroad since the beginning of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood are clear evidence of their failure inside the Gaza Strip.

The source also praised the effective and decisive role played by Turkey with all its institutions in dealing with such movements, and also praised the position of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he warned Israel that if it did not allow members If he dares to kill, he will have to pay a heavy price. Hamas movement in Türkiye.

strained relationships

In the light of complex geopolitical changes, the importance of the following developments in the intelligence activities of the Israeli Mossad emerges, especially on Turkish territory, which constitutes a strategic axis in regional equations.

Security expert Abdullah Dagh told Al Jazeera Net in his interview, “Israel, which is facing multiple internal and external crises and growing popular pressure, is demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and the return of prisoners, while intelligence and “Trying to get a safety win.” To improve your internal image.”

Dagg believes that Israel views Turkey's understanding of deterrence issues and its failure to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization as fertile ground for Mossad operations, particularly the assassination of leaders. Concerned, considering that the purpose of these operations is not only to weaken the capabilities of the resistance. , but also to send complex political and security messages to active countries in the region.

Regarding the impact of these operations on Turkey, Dağ believes that the threat posed by Mossad's activity on Turkish territory is not limited only to the security level, but also extends to the economic and tourism aspects, allowing Turkish assassination and espionage. Has become a venue for campaigns. Harms its international image as a safe and stable country, which could lead to… a decline in investment and tourism, which negatively impacts Turkey's economy, he also pointed out that these activities could result in political There may be internal tension in view of this. and their resulting social impacts.

Dagg said that “despite the recent significant improvement in bilateral relations between the two countries, the continuation of Israeli operations on Turkish territory could create new tensions not only in diplomatic relations, but also at the level of economic and security cooperation between the two countries.” Can.” countries, which could have long-term implications “on the stability of the region as a whole,” he stressed the importance of Turkey's vigilance and readiness to face these security and diplomatic challenges, strengthening its intelligence and security capabilities. Emphasized the need. Protect its sovereignty and national security.

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