Turkish security services recently arrested several people on charges of being agents of the Mossad (Reuters)

Israel is using various methods to plant spies in Turkey to target mainly Palestinian citizens and activists from the Middle East.

Turkish intelligence officials revealed last week how Israeli officers carry out the recruitment and how the personnel they employ operate.

The site explained – in a report by Ragheb Soylu from Istanbul – that the Turkish intelligence briefing, which was presented to the media, came after it arrested – in a joint operation with the police – 34 people, most of them foreigners, on charges of spying for the Israeli intelligence (Mossad), noting that 12 additional individuals are still at large, and have probably left the country.

The operatives were assigned tasks mainly related to tracking the movement of Mossad wanted operatives (social media)

Job Advertisements

This Turkish intelligence operation is the fourth counter-network of informants and activists linked to Israeli intelligence services, such as the Shin Bet and the Mossad, since 2021.

Turkish intelligence officials say Israeli intelligence usually posts online job postings with little or no details, or posts links on social media platforms and chat groups to choose the right individuals to contact.

A.S., who was arrested by police in 2022, told an Istanbul court last year that he called the number in an advertisement to "search for an employee who speaks Arabic and Turkish," to which a person responded, directed him to WhatsApp groups and assigned him to translate certain topics in this group daily from Turkish to Arabic.

Israeli officers do not communicate with these individuals in person, the site says, but only in writing and through messaging apps such as Telegram and WhatsApp, and pay them through intermediaries or via messengers recruited online through recruitment posts on social media.

Tactical recruits

After Israeli intelligence officers build a "relationship of trust" with the agents, they can move to the tactical level, where the agent is required to conduct more complex operations, and may evolve into building a more direct relationship with recruits, such as meeting in person and paying a large sum of money, while requiring a polygraph test.

Agents are initially asked to carry out fragmented tasks to create an action plan toward actual targets, and Israelis may choose some individuals from among the group to take on more tactical roles, as these "tactical recruits" are tasked with creating a WhatsApp group to manage the operation, and creating and managing websites that can be used to achieve mission goals, such as designing an online newspaper to spread disinformation and fake news and making money transfers.

Turkish officials add that to ensure that recruits do not feel betrayed by their country, they are provided with psychological support and comfort through large sums of money and privileges, successful ones are called to private meetings abroad, and hosted in luxury hotels and restaurants as a reward.

Mossad began dealing with agents in Turkey through communication platforms, including WhatsApp (Reuters)

Client Training

The official testimony of S.K., who confessed to working for Israeli intelligence in exchange for a commutation of his prison sentence in a separate case, confirmed how Israeli intelligence trains and employs its agents.

S.K. told Turkish investigators in September that he had met Israeli officers in 10 cities in Europe, and that a person named Serkan first contacted him in 2018 and asked him to work for an insurance company, and then someone named Jorge contacted him via Skype.

"Jorge asked me to choose one of the three restaurants he named, researching their businesses and taking indoor and outdoor photos, and he explained that he would compare the information he had with the information I provide. I sent him my report and asked for 3 euros. He told me he liked the report and wanted us to meet face-to-face."

In December 2018, S.K. met with his supervisors in Copenhagen and took a polygraph test, and said he was asked to track down a Palestinian citizen named M. al-Mahmoud since arriving at Istanbul airport to his final destination in the city, and to determine whether he had a team to pick him up or had an armed security guard.

Israel's intelligence service asks these individuals to prepare for the most important potential operations, including human trafficking, smuggling from Iran and Iraq to Turkey, hiring pirates, finding safe houses, and hiring ambulance operators to use in operations.

Source : Middle East Eye