Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization – also known as MIT – says it uncovered a Mossad cell in the country and arrested seven members, according to the pro-government Daily Sabah.
The report says that Israel used Arab spies in the country to gather intelligence on targets in Lebanon and Syria.
Among the targets was a Hezbollah building in Beirut where senior military and political figures live.
The joint MIT/Istanbul police operation found 56 operatives, who reportedly “were gathering biographical intelligence on foreign nationals through an online routing method, tracking vehicle movements via GPS, hacking into password-protected networks based on Wi-Fi devices and finding private locations.”
They were trained in Bangkok and other international locations, says the newspaper.
The Mossad agents, allegedly including a Palestinian, came from several Middle Eastern countries, and communicated with their handlers through burner phones.
The Daily Sabah report said cybertech training was provided by the Indian owner of Cyberintelligence International Private Ltd, a Tel Aviv-based firm. The company’s owner helped the spies break into phones and send links to targets that would give access to their computers.
The company did not respond to calls or emails.
The newspaper also reveals training methods the Mossad uses to develop its spies in the country.
MIT announced in May and in December that it had busted other Mossad cells in the country.
Hamas, which Turkey does not consider a terrorist organization, has offices in Turkey, making it a prime target of Israeli intelligence. In addition, Syrians, Lebanese, and Iranians live in and travel through Turkey.